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BEN'ITO JL'AREZ, 

The " Washington " of Mexico. 






Mexico in Transition l ' ' 



The Power of Political '^omani^m 

TO 

GlVIL AND ^ELIQIOU^ ^IBERTY 

By WILLIAM BUTLER, D.D. 

ILLUSTRATED 




SEAL OF MEXICO 



"THERE IS A WAKING ON THE MIGHTY HILLS, 
A KINDLING WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE MORN. 



FOURTH EDITION—REVISED 



NEW YORK : HUNT & EATON 
CINCINNATI: CRANSTON & CURTS 



THIS WORK 
IS DEDICATED 

TO 

Rev. C. C. MeCabe, D.D., 

and those kind friends " who stand behind him," 

in memory of their generosity 

in furnishing the means enabling the writer 

to visit mexico and there collect 

the necessary material for the publication of this volume, 

by their grateful servant in christ, 

The Author. 



Copyright, 1892, by 
HUNT & EATON, 

New York. 



PREFACE. 



In view of the false representations which were so indus- 
triously disseminated during the struggle described in this 
work by those who had an interest in the wrongs which 
Mexico so long endured, it is hoped that our readers may 
kindly excuse the constant quotations and documentary as- 
pect of much of the text. Only by going back to original 
evidence and furnishing the authority for our statements 
could these falsehoods be exposed and the whole truth be placed 
before our readers. This for the author was a long, slow, 
and laborious process. But we believe it has been amply jus- 
tified, and that the reading public has now at last Mexico's 
side of the question placed before it, with its evidences, so that 
it can form a more intelligent opinion upon the merits of the 
mighty struggle which was so providentially guided to an issue 
that, while it overwhelmed the enemies of the rights of the 
Mexican people, at the same time and in due order vindicated 
and established those rights upon foundations which it is ex- 
pected will stand while sun and moon endure. 

The errors corrected the reader will find to have been very 
many ; some of them as willful and baseless as that which so 
daringly asserted that " Colonel Lopez was a traitor, who sold 
his sovereign and the password to the Republicans for thirty 
thousand dollars," and thus loaded down that officer for tw r enty 
years with an opprobrium that was heavy enough to have sunk 
him into a dishonored grave, while at the time his lips were 
closed in his own defense until the hour came, three years ago, 
when the commanding general broke the seal of silence and 
released the colonel from the peculiar and undeserved misery 
which he had so long endured under a sense of loyalty to the 



PREFACE. 



express wishes of Maximilian, adding another illustration to 
the maxim that " Truth is often stranger than fiction." 

While these pages were being prepared for the press, to 
illustrate the merciful intervention of Almighty God on behalf 
of those who are wronged and denied the rights of popular 
government, a remarkable utterance, and from a high quarter, 
for a contrary doctrine made its appearance. The United 
States senator from Kansas — regarded by his admirers as being 
" brainy, brilliant, and audacious " — saw fit to choose his oppor- 
tunity lightly to pour his contempt upon convictions to which 
multitudes of thoughtful people give their earnest sympathy. 
Standing upon the battle-field of Gettysburg — upon ground 
hallowed by the blood of thousands of American heroes — this 
man is reported as having given utterance to the following pe- 
culiar and amazing language : 

The purification of politics is an iridescent dream. Government is 
force. Politics is a battle for supremacy. Parties are the armies. The 
decalogue and the golden rule have no place in a political campaign. 
The object is success. To defeat the antagonist and expel the party in 
power is the purpose. In war it is lawful to deceive the adversary, to 
hire Hessians, to purchase mercenaries, to mutilate, to kill, to destroy. 
The commander who lost a battle through the activity of his moral nature 
would be the derision and jest of history. This modern cant about the 
corruption of politics is fatiguing in the extreme. It proceeds from the 
tea-cnstard and syllabub dilletauteism, the frivolous and desultory senti- 
mentalism of epicenes. 

ISTo doubt but this would be welcome news to the enemies of 
the reign of law and personal and social purity everywhere, 
people who hate to be rebuked or controlled by either God 
or man, by law or by conscience. The decalogue and the ser- 
mon on the mount stand very much in the way of such persons, 
and it would have been greatly to their comfort and liberty of 
action had the senator been able to add the proof that they 
were really abrogated, as he said, and that such persons had 
nothing to fear from them either now or hereafter. 

But this book will show that it was not with such a creed as 



PREFACE. 



this that the wronged and suffering Liberals of Mexico struggled 
up through their forty years of agony and effort to the joy of a 
purified political system which at last gave their country rest 
and peace. And surely the Christian and patriotic dead be- 
neath that senator's feet in that cemetery, who gave up home, 
family, and life itself to rectify that "corruption of politics" 
which flung over our fair land treason, rebellion, and death, 
could they have risen from their graves, would have indignantly 
confronted him as he thus characterized convictions like theirs 
as " modern cant," etc. 

The conscience of the nation was shocked by this ill-omened 
utterance, and Kansas herself resented it as every way unwor- 
thy of her own convictions. For a few weeks after, when the 
time for the re-election of her senator came round, she retired 
this man to private life and elected another in his place. Nor 
will the lesson be lost. It does not pay public men, and especially 
those in prominent positions, in the long run, to get into con- 
flict with the Author of the ten commandments or the golden 
rule, or to turn an indifferent ear to the earnest appeals of the 
men or the women who look to them for sympathy and help 
in their struggles against sin and wrong. 

It seems singular that the refuge of divine law should be un- 
welcome to any human being, or that men can be found who would 
object to have religion operate in this sphere of ours as though 
it Were an intrusion to be tolerated only in the clouds above 
and the world beyond, but not to dictate here to the hearts and 
lives of men nor aim to control their private ways, much less 
their public acts and policies. Sooner or later an awakening 
comes to such dreamers, and they have to learn — often too late 
— that the ten commandments and the sermon on the mount 
were not given as laws of life to saints and angels in heaven, 
but to men and sinners down here in this wicked world, and 
that their mothers were right when they taught their infant 
lips to pray, " Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth 
as it is done in heaven." Any attempt to exclude public life 
and its responsibilities from the sphere of conscience and the 



PREFACE. 



divine control, and then " to teach men so," is a high crime and 
misdemeanor, not only against the souls of men, but also against 
patriotism as well as religion, against love of country and love 
of God, all of which go hand in hand and constitute the " right- 
eousness which exalteth a nation," and is equally exalting to its 
leading men. 

Rectification of wrong is the only true foundation of tranquil- 
lity ; " first pure, then peaceable." " There is no peace, saith 
God, to the wicked," and never can be. The most perfect and 
permanent of all governments is that of the reigning Redeemer, 
of whose blessed administration the eternal Father testifies: 
" Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and 
ever : a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. 
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity ; therefore 
God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness 
above thy fellows." He is the very model for legislators and 
governors. The anthem that inaugurated his administration 
has gone on sounding round the world ever since, " Glory to 
God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men." 
He evidently maintains that purified politics and Christian 
prayer-meetings can go well together, that caucuses and class 
meetings stand related to eacli other, and that a man can be 
president of one of earth's mightiest empires and yet be a saint 
like Daniel, who bends his knees to the God whose help he 
implores. Thank Heaven, the men who recognize God in 
political life bear the names that humanity now loves to re- 
member and honor — Protestant, Catholic, and heathen alike; 
and the number of such pure patriots is on the increase. It is 
not necessary that we quote illustrative instances. One alone 
shall speak a brief word for the whole class in decided contra- 
diction of the unworthy utterance against which we here protest. 

The Marquis of Dalhousie was regarded by his contempora- 
ries as the most distinguished governor-general that England 
ever sent to rule her Oriental empire. This honored man, dur- 
ing the eight years that he held this great responsibility, 
ruled and guided nearly one sixth of the human family. His 



PREFACE. 



feeble frame bent down at last beneath the mighty load, but 
God, whom he had so long honored, enabled him to finish his 
duty. The day on which his successor, Lord Canning, arrived, 
in 1856, he was ready to leave. They tenderly bore him from 
the viceregal palace in Calcutta down to the ship that awaited 
him, and laid him in the berth from which he was unable to rise 
till the voyage ended. As he lay there he wrote, with feeble 
hand, using pencil and tablets by his side, his last report to the 
Court of Directors. In that report he found room for God, 
and here is the finishing sentiment of his public life, so ger- 
mane to our subject here : 

These papers are an instance of the principle that we should do right 
without fear of consequences. To fear God and to have no other fear is a 
maxim of religion, but the truth of it and the wisdom of it are proved 
every day in politics. 

The golden rule abrogated ! Nay, verily. " Heaven and 
earth shall pass away, but His word shall not pass away ! " 
That word is pledged to help the oppressed of every land. 
" The meek shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in 
the abundance of peace." For nineteen hundred years since 
the Lord Jesus Christ announced his mission in Capernaum 
(Luke iv, 18) his has been the " power working for righteous- 
ness " in all lands ; for this he lives and reigns. As immortal, 
while he may make haste, he does not need to hurry. He can 
take his time, for the future is all his own, and is sure to come 
to him for the completion of his great task. Wisely and ef- 
fectively is he now mightily working in "subduing all things 
unto himself " and guiding the elements in motion to the grand 
conclusions which will surely bring, by the attractions of his 
cross, the wide world to his feet in loving and adoring homage. 
Already there are millions of men and women who would will- 
ingly lay down their lives for him to evidence that love ; and 
the number of such is daily increasing. Long after the men 
who have slighted his authority have passed away and been 
forgotten better men will be filling the positions which they 



PREFACE. 



were unworthy to occupy, and this glorious Deliverer will be 
closing up to completion the high mission of his manifesta- 
tion. 

" In his name shall the Gentiles trust," not merely for the 
salvation of the soul, but also for the rectification of every 
wrong and the vindication of every right to " life, liberty, and 
the pursuit of Happiness," for all the good available in " the life 
that now is, as well as for that which is to come." This " King 
of kings and Lord of lords," whose cross redeemed the world, 
is yet to sway its happy populations by his golden rule until 
even " the isles shall wait for his law." For ages this has been 
the expectation and prayer of Christians and lovers of the Bible, 
who have been looking forward to that 

"One far-off divine event 
To which the whole creation moves." 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 



Mexico's long and deep degradation — Unheeded — Daniel Webster — "Warrant for 
the Conquest — Resources of Mexico — Population — The Armada — Mode of 
Christianizing Aztecs — Credibility of Cortez — Cuateraoctzin — Haciendas — 
Wealth of the Church — Lerdo's report — Fueros — Calderon and Domenech's 
testimony to desagravios and idolatrous worship — Character of clergy and 
people — Humboldt — Indulgences Page 1 

CHAPTER II. 

" Gross darkness " — Mariolatry of Mexico unique — Hostility of the two Virgins — 
Their respective legends — Their fabulous wealth — General Thompson and 
Mrs. Gooch's testimony to this wild idolatry — The "cursed fools" of Guada- 
lupe — Opposite parts taken by these Virgins in the conflict for popular rights 
— Impossible titles and relations — The terrible climax at Puebla — Mexico's 
degradation fully accounted for here — Dates of dogmas 42 

CHAPTER III. 

From darkness to dawn through conflict and suffering — Spanish rule — Viceroys— 
"Patriarch of Mexican Independence" — His "Grito"and helpers — The Bravos 
— Odds against freedom — Iturbide and coronation — Unfortunate return — Mon- 
roe doctrine — Texan war and its object — McNamara and "Methodist wolves" 
— General Fremont — War with United States — Treachery at Cherubusco— 
The baud of God — Hidden refuge for Bible study in the Cafiadas 64 

CHAPTER IV. 

Extending freedom in South America — Resisted by the pope — Liberalism dis- 
tasteful to privilege — Duke of Richmond — Testimony of Curtis — Ecuador 
the papal model for Mexico — President Barrundia and the papal bull — 
Polic3 r of Pius IX. — Constitutional freedom promised — Withdrawn — Flight 
of the pope to Gaeta — Roman republic — Papal appeal to Catholic powers to 
crush the Romans — Responded to by Louis Napoleon — Protest — Reaction 
and vengeance — "The Butcher of Bologna" — Gladstone — Sardinia — God 
within the shadow 96 



CONTEXTS. 



CHAPTER V. 

Desperate efforts of the Mexican clericals — Merits of the conflict — Coup d'etat of 
the church party — Terrorizing policy of Miramon — Violation of British em- 
bassy — Republican victories— Benito Juarez, Mexico's "Washington," and 
his aids — Perfidy of Louis Napoleon — Intervention — Co-operation of the pope 
— " Laws of reform " — Tripartite treaty — .Tecker bonds — De Morny — Collapse 
of Jecker— " Cinco de Mayo" — Maximilian's call and warning... Page 118 

CHAPTER VI. 

Why Maximilian failed — Warnings in Austrian history — Francis Joseph — Papal 
denunciation — Denying a grave — Jaurez and Congress — Jaurez and Lincoln 
— South American interest — Netherland League — Position of the United 
States — Marshal's disagreement with the archbishop — Impossible task — Em- 
pire without foundation — Abbe Domenech — Career for the Latin race — Grant 
— Failure of efforts — Nuncio — Pope's expostulation — Clericals in politics — 
Confidential letter of Carlota — Denial of papal authority 157 

CHAPTER VII. 

England and recognition — Beecher's effort — Cotton-spinners of Lancashire — 
"Kicked out of Rome" — Papal missive to "Lincoln & Co." — Recognition of 
Jeff Davis by the pontiff — Outline of policy — Interview with Juarez sought 
by Maximilian — Confidential letter of the emperor — False proclamation con- 
cerning Juarez — " The Black Decree " — Execution of Arteaga and Salazar — 
Letters — Libro Rojo — Santa Anna — Sudden departure of the empress — Inter- 
view with the pope — Incurable insanity — French troops withdrawn — The 
emperor's attempted departure — Interference of French and clericals — Sheri- 
dan at Rio Grande „ 181 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Collapse of the empire — Siege of Queretaro — Efforts to escape — Capture of Maxi- 
milian — Court-martial — Charges — Defense — Sentence — Appeals for pardon- 
Why declined — Princess Salm-Salm — Plan of escape — Falsehood and bribery — 
Interview with Juarez — The execution — Unjust charges against Colonel Lopez 
— "Selling Maximilian for $30,000" — Escobedo's letter — Taking of Mexico city 
— Merciful treatment of prisoners — Santa Anna's last game — Disposal of the 
body of the archduke — Admission of Maximilian's lawyers 221 

CHAPTER IX. 

"Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord" — "So that men shall say, 
Verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth " — The conspirators against 
freedom — Could only be reached by the retributions of Almighty God — The 



CONTENTS. 



pontiff — Temporal power for one thousand years — Decree of infallibility — 
Declaration of war — Downfall of Napoleon — The pope's temporal power ex- 
tinguished — Italy unified — Papal coin — Scene in San Angelo — Emperor Will- 
iam denies the pope's claim — Napoleon rushes to ruin at Sedan — End of his 
glory — Death of the Prince Imperial — Eugenie in exile — France republican — 
Religious liberty — Expulsion of the Jesuits Page 256 

CHAPTER X. 

The star on Orizava — Summary of what Mexico lias gained — Her resources — Im- 
proved financial condition — Porflrio Diaz — Evangelical missions — Miss Ran- 
kin — Circus of Chiarini — Providential help — Purchase of Inquisition — Popular 
vengeance — Buried martyrs — General Assembly — Statistics of Protestantism 
— Persecution — Interview with President Diaz — Santa Anna — Epitaph — 
Tomb of Jaurez — Memorial services of the Emperor William — Madame Cal- 
deron's prophecy 281 

2 



TABLE OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Benito Juarez, 

The " "Washington " of Mexico frontispiece 

Significant Seal of Mexico, 

Her Eagle, on the Nopal, killing the Serpent of Despotism. . .on title page 

Mexican System of Railways, facing page 
Showing the eleven lines in use or under construction 1 

Hernando Cortez, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca, 

Conqueror of this New World, and its first Captain-General, 1521 9 

The Plaza, or Great Square of the Capital, 

The most historic spot in Mexico, and scene of its leading " Pronun- 

ciamentos." 25 

The Disciplines (two plates), 

Used on the body for self-torture 32, 33 

The Virgin of Remedios, 

The Patroness of the Spaniards in Mexico 45 

The Virgin of Guadalupe, 

The Patroness of the native Mexicans 48 

Miguel Hidalgo, 

The " Patriarch of Mexican Independence.". 67 

General Santa Anna, 

The turbulent Dictator of Mexico 82 

Pope Pius IX., 

Who sanctioned and sustained the usurpation of Maximilian 108 

Louis Napoleon, 

Who originated the " Intervention " in Mexico. 130 

Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, 

For three years, by usurpation, " Emperor " of Mexico 169 

Carlota, Archduchess of Austria, 

And " Empress" of Mexico 170 



TABLE OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



The Monogram of Maximilian, facing page 

Willi Medallions of his favorite Generals ............... 211 

Cerro de las Campanas, 

Scene of the execution of Maximilian, June 1 9, 1 867 240 

General Porfirio Diaz, 

Mexico's brave soldier and honored president 286 

Head-quarters of the Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 

Calle de Gante, City of Mexico 291 

The Inquisition, City of Puebla, 

Purchased by the Meihodist Episcopal Church in 1873 292 

Covered "Way of the Inquisition, 

Connecting with the Examining Chapel 293 

Martyrs of the Inquisition, 

Taken out of the cells in the walls, where they were built in to die 294 

Personnel of the Mexican Annual Conference, in January, 1888, 

Seventeen of the number being natives of the country 297 

Rev. J. L. Stephens, Congregational Missionary, 

Martyred at Almalulco, March, 1874 302 

Rev. Epigmenio Monroy, Native Methodist Minister, 

Martyred near Apizaco, April 8, 1881 303 

Interior of the Methodist Episcopal Church, City of Mexico, 

Formerly a part of the great San Franciscan monastery 313 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



CHAPTER I. 

Mexico's long and deep degradation — Unheeded— Daniel "Webster — "Warrant for 
the Conquest — Resources of Mexico — Population — The Armada — Mode of 
Christianizing Aztecs — Credibility of Cortez — Cuatemoctzin — Haciendas — 
"Wealth of the Church — Lerdo's report — Fueros — Calderon and Domenech's 
testimony to desagravios and idolatrous worship — Character of clergy and 
people — Humboldt — Indulgences. 

My interest in the events which this work is to describe 
originated in a Sabbath service toward the close of 1851. The 
congregation were singing Bishop Heber's missionary hymn, 
and as they reached the couplet 

" Till, like a sea of glory, 
It spreads from pole to pole," 

the glowing words seemed illuminated with a significance be- 
yond any former apprehension. My attention was fixed, all 
else forgotten for the time, and questionings, new and strange, 
were speaking to my heart and insisting on being heard. 
Some of these questions rail on in this line : Does this congrega- 
tion comprehend properly the meaning of the sublime thought 
to which they are giving utterance? Are they realizing the 
exalted hope which those lines express? Of what "poles" 
are they thinking — those of the eastern hemisphere, or those 
of our own continent, where the best connection of those poles 
exists by the formation which God has conferred upon them? 
Here, then, where Heber's lines, in this sense, find their most 
literal interpretation, is the audience really anticipating the 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



hour when from the most northern of human homes the " sea 
of glory " is to illumine and bless the dwellers of the three 
Americas till it reaches the southern cape and crowns it with 
the cross of the world's Redeemer ? Or, was the glowing song 
a mere poetic sentiment to fan for a moment the affections 
of these worshipers and, without further significance, sacrifice, 
or personal "duty, to pass from their minds and be forgotten ? 

There was at least one heart in that assembly which was not 
to forget them while life shall last. The halo that invested 
those two lines was to draw its attention and stimulate its faith 
and hope, until now, after more than forty years, the great 
public events that have meanwhile transpired upon these conti- 
nents have been seen and understood with increasing clearness 
in the illumination of that hour, and it has apprehended how 
wondrously God is moving in those lands to turn the hope of 
Heber's hymn into the bright reality of the perfect evangelical 
day, when the whole American hemisphere shall be radiant with 
the glory of the Lord. This book is the result of these increas- 
ing and glad convictions, and the author's hope is that, when 
his readers have examined the facts traced and united here, 
they too will share his confidence and be ready to address them- 
selves, " as workers together with God," to the sacrifices and 
duties which the hour and the divine call demand for their 
realization from the Church of Christ. 

The interest thus aroused developed into an anxiety to ascer- 
tain what was the actual political, social, and religious condition 
of the nations existing between our own border and the south- 
ern pole. Those seventeen States had then an aggregate popu- 
lation exceeding that of the United States and Canada com- 
bined. The results of this inquiry, faithfully prosecuted for a 
considerable length of time, through an extensive examination 
and correspondence, were sad indeed. In this advanced day 
people can hardly appreciate the fearful darkness and destitution 
which then prevailed over Central and South America, or realize 
that there was not then among the nearly forty-eight millions of 
human beings between our Texan border and Cape Horn one 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



missionary of evangelical Christianity addressing those millions 
in their own tongue ! All was darkness and spiritual death ! 
Nearly every one of those States were bound hand and foot in 
concordat relations with the papal power, these concordats 
requiring the executive of each nation to make ecclesiastical 
matters paramount in his administration; to repress all dissent, 
even to the extent of the forfeiture of freedom or property — 
sometimes even of life itself; to maintain, unquestioned and un- 
challenged, the stern rule of the papacy over these benighted 
millions. This had been going on for centuries past, and it was 
fully purposed to perpetuate the same dark dominion for ages 
yet to come ! No Bible, no missionary, no light from any 
source was to be permitted to enter or disturb this reign of igno- 
rance and sin. It seemed in some respects a worse condition 
than that of any heathenism on earth, because more cruel, re- 
pressive, and unreformable. Sufficient evidence of this will be 
forthcoming, most of it furnished by the very people whom 
Home had overburdened for centuries, till at last, unable to en- 
dure longer, they have risen in their wrath, one State after 
another, and taken vengeance upon their clerical oppressors. 
They have snatched from their hands the civil and religious 
freedom which had been so long withheld, and secularized the 
vast church property which their clergy had unlawfully ac- 
quired and so long employed for their own selfish purposes. 
This hour of divine relief had not dawned in 1851. Years 
of agony had yet to be endured ere it appeared, and the suf- 
fering friends and martyrs of freedom and a purer faith had to 
wait and still cry to the Almighty, under their bitter pressure, 
" Plow long, O Lord, how long ? " 

Santa Anna was then in power, in the third term of his dic- 
tatorship, and this record will evidence that a more unscrupu- 
lous tool of the papacy never held a scepter. Since the first 
blow was struck for freedom in Mexico, and the life of its 
noblest martyr was sacrificed, in 1811, occasional rumors 
reached the outside world revealing something of the struggles 
which the lovers of liberty were maintaining against fearful 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



odds, and how the strong hand of the Church and the Spanish 
party were cruelly repressing their aspirations, endeavoring to 
extinguish them. 

It seems strange now, as we look back, how unconscious our 
people generally were of the condition of things in Mexico, 
how little they realized the depth of the degradation in which 
her millions Were perishing, or how long she had agonized to be 
lifted up to the condition of our land. We dreamed not of 
the debt we owed to her, and the nations beyond, but left them 
to their fate. Meanwhile we were loud enough in our jubila- 
tion over our own happy condition, unconscious that we were 
side by side with a race of people, then more numerous than 
ourselves, who were under the dread control of the darkest 
Romanism on earth ! 

Forty years ago, in a circle of friends, some of whom ex- 
pressed fears of national difficulties to grow out of the unset- 
tled north-eastern and north-western boundaries, Daniel Webster 
said : 

No, gentlemen, our great national difficulty lies not in that direction. 
Our greatest danger is that we have a sister republic on our southern 
border, almost in mortal agony, and no one amongst us seems willing to 
lend it a helping hand. 

Truly to comprehend the Mexican question we need to re- 
call the professed Warrant for the Conquest. The origin of the 
title by which Spain and the Church of Rome claimed Mexico, 
and indeed the entire western hemisphere, as their exclusive 
domain, was an audacious act of the Roman pontiff at the close 
of the fifteenth century. The craze of the Crusades led men 
to imagine that the kingdom of Christ could be extended by 
the sword, and the maritime nations of the age waxed jealous 
of each other's share in the work and the gain it involved. 
Add to this motive the love of adventure and military glory, 
and the passion of avarice, and you have the elements which 
moved men, and often the vilest of men, to volunteer for such 
enterprises. As a warrant for all they undertook they looked 
to the pope to bestow the sanction of Heaven upon their vent- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



tires. The pope, nothing loath, readily authorized such expe- 
ditions, and that on the most extensive scale. Alexander VI., 
in 1494, settled the conflicting claims of the kings of Spain and 
Portugal by dividing the world between them. The account 
runs thus : 

He divided the undiscovered regions of the earth by an imaginary line 
of longitude, running through the Atlantic Ocean, from pole to pole, three 
hundred and seventy miles west of the Azores. He gave the Portuguese 
unlimited sway over all the countries that they might discover to the east 
of that line, and pledged himself to confirm to Ferdinand and Isabella of 
Spain the right to every isle, continent, and sea where they should plant 
their flag on the western hemisphere. Hence in every picture of the 
landing of Columbus the first act in the scene is the planting of the flag 
of the Spanish crown.* 

This authority was to be unlimited and to cover all things 
temporal and spiritual ; the bodies and souls, the property and 
services of the conquered nations were to be their peculiar in- 
heritance, and that of their successors forever. Such was the 
title-deed of Ferdinand and Isabella to North, Central, and 
South America. This wonderful grant of Alexander VI. was 
confirmed by his successor, Pope Julius II., to the Spanish 
monarchy. Thus the whole continent, " from pole to pole," all 
the kingdoms of this New "World, were assumed to be handed 
over to a dynasty by a pontiff who did not own and had no 
right to a foot of the territory or a single human being upon it. 

But where are the two empires so pompously divided to 
Portugal and Spain ? "Where the " Conquest " made under the 
authority of Alexander VI., and consolidated with such crush- 
ing force on poor humanity, especially in Mexico ? What of the 
proud claims which Spaniards made when they engraved across 
their maps of the western world the words " New Spain," which 
were made to stretch from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific 
coast, and from the St. Lawrence to the southern cape, terri- 
torially the greatest empire that the world had ever seen % The 
pontifical gift has been wrested out of their blood-stained hands 

* Mexico and the United States, by Gorham D. Abbot, p. 21. Putnam. 



6 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

by a mightier Power than their own ; her sons who did all this 
wrong have been shaken out of this New World ; the bound- 
aries which she obliterated have been restored ; the races which 
she so cruelly oppressed have risen again in this wonderful 
day to power, and her proud title has been erased from the 
maps of this hemisphere. 

The assumptions of Alexander VI. would have had far less 
significance to the world had not the papacy supposed they had 
found in them a clew to universal dominion over mankind. 
This idea was followed out, and Pope Paul III. convoked a 
council in the city of Trent, in 1545, which was to legislate, under 
the professed authority of the Holy Spirit, a body of canons 
that were to subject all mankind for all ages to the will of one 
man in the papal chair. This council was composed of 247 
bishops, of whom 187 were Italians, 32 Spaniards, 26 French, and 
2 Germans, and a majority vote (124) of these men undertook 
to make the laws by which the millions of the human race in 
all lands and ages were to be bound, under fearful penalties, to 
accept and obey as the edicts of Almighty God ! 

Though Mexico to-day retains only a part of the immense 
area which she once called her own, yet her present size is stated 
as " ten times larger than Great Britain, and nearly equal in 
extent to France, Spain, Austria, Lombardy, and the British 
Isles combined." The physical facts of this great country are 
presented by Mr. Winston as follows : 

It extends from about the fourteenth to the thirty-second parallel of 
north latitude, and from the eighty-sixth to the one hundred and seventh 
degree of west longitude, being in length from north to south about two 
thousand miles, and in breadth from one hundred and forty miles at 
Tehuantepec, on the south, to over a thousand miles where it joins our 
own southern borders. It has a sea-coast on the Gulf of Mexico of about 
one thousand miles, and on the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California 
of over four thousand miles. Situated to a large extent within the tropics, 
its coasts and the land near them possess a tropical climate, while the 
plains of the interior rise to an altitude of seventy-five hundred feet above 
the level of the sea, securing a temperate climate, although within the 
tropics. Thus almost every product of fruit and grain is found within its 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



borders. On no island in the southern seas is there a greater luxuriance 
and beauty of tree and plant and flower, from the majestic palm to the 
creeping vines which cover the ground and trees and overrun their dwell- 
ings, than in the south and east of Mexico, wliile in the north all the prod- 
ucts of our own land can be successfully cultivated. Its silver mines 
have been and are the richest in the world. It has gold also, with iron 
and other useful metals and minerals. Its majestic snow-clad mountains, 
its beautiful valleys and hills, its luxuriant verdure and abundant plants 
present rare pictures to all true lovers of nature. 

The natives speak of their country as divided into three zones, 
the lowlands along the coast as the tierras calientes (hot lands), 
the range above astierras temjpladas (temperate lands), and the 
still higher table-lands as the tierras frias (cold lands). In 
these last are seen those great volcanoes which are such a strik- 
ing feature in the scenery of Mexico. The height of the five 
leading ones, as given by Humboldt, is : 

Orizava 17,879 feet. 

Popocatepetl 17,726 " 

Ixtaccihuatl 15,705 " 

Toluca 15,168 " 

Colima 12,005 " 

The summits of these are covered with perpetual snow. 
Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl rise in their sublimity on the 
eastern side of the valley of Mexico, hoary guardians of the 
Aztec capital, the first towering ten thousand feet above the city. 
A railroad, wonderful for its engineering, that has overcome such 
immense difficulties of construction, winds its way up from the 
sea-shore at Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico, a distance of two 
hundred and sixty-two miles, and an elevation of seventy-five 
hundred feet. Some of the scenery on this road, and on other 
lines lately constructed down to the coast, is unsurpassed in 
grandeur in the world. Passing through all these zones garden 
products are brought to the markets of Mexico, and dwellers in 
that city enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables and flowers every day 
in the year. The sweep of the mild currents of air from the 
tropical ocean below, united with the rarefied air of the elevated 
table-lands, afford one of the most balmy and equable climates in 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



the world, free from extremes, so that in the valley of Mexico 
the mercury seldom rises over eighty-five degrees, or falls much 
below forty-five degrees, and nature seems in its growth to be 
a perpetual spring. This wonderful land, so gifted by nature's 
God, if her people were only blest with evangelical religion, 
and the freedom, peace, and intelligence it brings in its train, 
might become like " the garden of the Lord," where "thanks- 
giving and the voice of praise " might be perpetually resounding. 

In 1888 Mexico had an estimated population of 11,632,924. 
Of these 12 per cent, are supposed to be of European extrac- 
tion, 28 per cent, mixed, and 60 per cent, aborigines. Such is 
the fertility of the land that it is estimated it could sustain more 
than one hundred millions of population. God has bestowed with 
bountiful hand, so that it has been truly said, she has " every 
herb bearing seed, and every tree that is pleasant to the sight 
and good for food," while her mines are rich with the precious 
metals. The single fact of Mexico's mineral wealth should have 
saved her from her wretchedness. Ages before our Nevadas 
were heard of Mexico was the wealthiest of all lands, and 
specialists have calculated that fully one half of the silver of 
commerce was extracted from her mines since the Conquest. 
An enumeration of the wealth from Mexican mines which passed 
through the custom-houses of Spain from the Conquest to 1825 
gives the enormous amount of £2,040,000,000, being an annual 
revenue to the Spanish monarch of £6,800,000 for the three 
hundred years then closing.* Nor is this all, for Robertson 
gives his authorities for the conclusion that the sum above 
named is less than the amount fraudulently introduced into 
Spain without paying the fifth part which was the king's duty 
on the importation.f No wonder this profusion of treasure 
astonished mankind, who had hitherto gleaned a limited supply 
of these precious metals from the scanty stores in the mines of 
the eastern hemisphere. 

Pampered with unsanctified wealth, gained by fraud and 

* See King's Proclamation, printed at Havana, Sept. 6, 1831. 
■(•Robertson's History of America, p. 366, and note on p. 519. 




HERNANDO CORTEZ, 

Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca, Conqueror of this New World, aud its 
first Captain-General, 1521. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



oppression, Spain became proud and overbearing, rejected the 
Bible and the great Reformation, and in the intoxication of her 
bigotry madly essayed to dominate the world by terrorizing 
weak nations, while at home she energized her abominable In- 
quisition in the interests of her intolerant Church. She then 
rashly attempted to extinguish in cruelty and blood the Reforma- 
tion in its chosen home, by invading the country of Elizabeth. 
The preparations for this purpose Avere characteristic of the 
monarchy which had reduced the free Aztecs to peonage and 
degradation, and which was exulting in the anticipation of im- 
posing a similar yoke on the necks of Englishmen. With the 
money of Mexico the Armada was built and outfitted, and 
then ostentatiously baptized the Invincible, as it sailed away to 
accomplish its purpose. But in one short week the wreckage 
of that vast fleet was strewing the Atlantic Ocean, or dashed 
up on the shores of the land which sent it forth. The terrible 
overthrow inspired the Protestant nations to build fleets to com- 
pete with this relentless tyrant of the seas. The Dutch and 
English began to prey on the commerce of their common 
enemy, and many a Spanish galleon had to lower her flag and 
resign her treasure to build up the greatness of these powers. 
From that time the decadence of Spain commenced, until her 
argosies ceased to cross the ocean and rotted within her silent 
ports. " The Lord had them in derision." 

The wealth of Mexico has continued to flow, but no longer 
to enrich her spoilers. It is now building up the commerce of 
free and evangelical nations. Twice a month the transatlantic 
steamer leaves Vera Cruz, bearing it away to London, where it 
is turned into exchange for the East, and is soon reminted in 
Calcutta, and circulates in India, China, and Japan. 
' The conquest of Mexico by Hernando Cortez, in the early 
part of the sixteenth century, is one of the most interesting 
subjects in all history. To overthrow an empire like that of 
Montezuma with the mere handful of men whom Cortez led 
seems incredible. The original account of this conquest is 
contained in the four dispatches of Cortez to his emperor. 



10 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Charles Y. The representation is one-sided ; the conquered race 
have never until now had the opportunity of appealing to the 
considerate judgment of mankind by recounting the story of 
their wrongs, and the cruelties which they endured from the 
fanatical invaders of their country. The destruction of their 
civilization, their monuments, their literature and records, has 
swept away till the judgment-day the proof which they should 
have possessed. Zumarraga, the first Archbishop of Mexico, was 
prominent among the iconoclasts who so recklessly destroyed 
their valuable manuscripts and monuments. Brantz Mayer 
describes the immense bonfire that he made of all the Aztec 
manuscripts he could collect " in and round the city of Mexico 
and Tlatelolco." * Of course the "pious" soldiers in this 
"holy war" zealously followed the example of their chief prel- 
ate, and so treasures which might have thrown light on the 
history of Mexico and of the continent, invaluable to the his- 
torian and antiquarian, were ruthlessly consumed by these igno- 
rant vandals. The vast number of ruins of teocallis (temples or 
sacred places) that still remain evidence the immense popula- 
tion which Mexico contained at the time of the Conquest, and 
seem to justify the conclusion reached by Humboldt, that at that 
period the empire of Montezuma may have " had a population 
of not less than thirty millions," and " the city of Mexico a 
population of three hundred thousand." 

The Christianization of such a mass of humanity by a mere 
handful of military adventurers and their few clerical helpers, 
by the off-hand methods which they employed, frequently at the 
sword's point, is an awful part of the record that has come 
down to us. The world never before witnessed any sucli process 
as they adopted in " Christianizing " those whom their cruelty 
spared. Robertson gives the authority (Romish, of course) for 
his statement : 

While this rage of conversion continued a single clergyman baptized in 
one day about five thousand Mexicans, and did not desist until he was so 
exhausted by fatigue that he Avas unable to lift his hands. In the course 

* Brantz Mayer, vol. i, p. 93. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 11 

of a few years after the reduction of the Mexican Empire the sacrament 
of baptism was administered to more than four millions. Proselytes 
adopted with such inconsiderate haste, and who were neither instructed 
in the nature of the tenets to which it was supposed they had given assent, 
nor taught the absurdity of those which they were required to relinquish, 
retained their veneration for their ancient superstitions in full force, or 
mingled an attachment to their doctrines and rites with that slender knowl- 
edge of Christianity which they had acquired. These sentiments the new 
converts transmitted to their posterity, into whose minds they have sunk 
so deep that the Spanish ecclesiastics, with all their industry, have not 
been able to eradicate them.* 

"Conversion" and "baptism" are interchangeable in the 
language of such people, and cases are quoted where their doc- 
trine of " baptismal regeneration " enabled two of their mis- 
sionaries to boast that " their ordinary day's work was from ten 
to twenty thousand souls ! " The " fruits " of such a Christian- 
ity are manifest to-day in Mexico, as they have been for three 
hundred years past, and Humboldt is fully justified in his state- 
ment when he says : 

The introduction of the Romish religion had no other effect upon the 
Mexicans than to substitute new ceremonies and symbols for the rites of 
a sanguinary worship. Dogma has not succeeded dogma, but only cere- 
mony to ceremony. I have seen them, marked and adorned with tink- 
ling bells, perform savage dances around the altar while a monk of St. 
Francis elevated the Host. 

And equally true is Dr. Abbot's sad conclusion, that 

Christianity, instead of fulfilling its mission of enlightening, converting, 
and sanctifying the natives, was itself converted. Paganism was ocqrtized, 
Christianity jxiganized. 

Cortez was not above the temptation to represent his oppo- 
nents in the worst possible light and to magnify greatly his own 
victories as well as the number and character of those opposed 
to him, in order to dazzle his government and his countrymen 
with the splendor of his services and the proportionate rewards 
that were due to him, and those who served with him in his 
crusade against a peaceable nation in the ends of the earth, who 
* Robertson's America, p. 364. 



12 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

had offered him neither wrong nor insult, and of whose hospi- 
tality he took the meanest advantages and then punished their 
heroic defense with robbery, slavery, and death ! But who then 
dared to doubt the correctness of the narrations by Cortez ? 
Every document for the public eye had first to be submitted to 
the examination of the official censor, and without his license no 
work could be published. Cortez was too useful as a son of 
the Church and too valuable as a subject of the crown to have 
any of his statements qualified or denied. Bernal Diaz (one 
of his associates and a historian of the Conquest) ventures in a 
very meek way to withhold his approval of some such state- 
ments, in these words : 

It may be that the person whom G-omara mentions as having appeared 
on a mottled gray horse was the glorious apostle San Jago or San Pedro, 
and that I as being a sinner, was not worthy to see him. This I know, 
that I saw Juan Francisco de Morla on such a horse, but, as an unworthy 
transgressor, did not deserve to see any of the holy apostles. It may have 
been the will of God ; that it was so as Gomara relates, but until I read his 
chronicle I never heard among any of the conquerors that such a thiug 
had happened. (Chap, xxxiv.) 

The statements of Cortez went forth accepted as facts by the 
"Holy Office," and were commended to the belief of the un- 
educated millions of Spain. The emblazoned cross upon his 
standard covered even the claims of miraculous assistance, the 
presence of the saints (St. James and St. Peter especially) with 
his army, and " the inspiration of the Holy Ghost," to guide in 
his policy. All of which is indorsed by no less an authority 
than Lorenzana, Archbishop of Mexico, in his Notes on the 
Letters of Cortez^ published in 1770. To eulogize such a man 
as a " saintly " character was an insult to the moral sense of even 
worldly men. The glamour of his course has now departed, and 
candid criticism has weighed him in her balance and found him 
wanting. Abundant evidence — much of it under his own hand — 
has shown him to have been impure, untruthful, avaricious, 
and cruel, and to-day his character is most discounted where 
he was best known. The races which he so deeply wronged 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 13 

execrate his memory, and one of their first acts as freemen was 
to raise the question whether the soil of their land should shel- 
ter his remains, so that hastily and secretly his ashes were re- 
moved, to avoid the indignities to which the excited people 
might have subjected them ! If any desire evidence to satisfy 
them that this is not too strong condemnation of his character, 
let them turn to the authorities given below (all from Roman 
Catholic writers), which are but samples of the many such tes- 
timonies which could be added. * 

The exaggerations of Cortez and his followers were on a scale 
with their barbarities, and constitute a perpetual difficulty for 
all who attempt to describe his conquest. Time and closer exam- 
ination only intensify this difficulty and throw a deeper shade 
over their credibility. Nearly all visitors to Mexico who have 
studied the subject, even partially, find themselves led to doubt 
the amazing statements of the Dispatches and become con- 
vinced that Prescott should have discriminated in regard to 
many of these wild assertions of Cortez. "We have not room 
to spare for the many illustrative instances at hand, but in pass- 
ing we will note that the victory of Otumba, after the night 
of dreadful loss, called the Noolie Triste (or Sad Night), where 
four or five hundred exhausted men are said to have conquered 
"more than one hundred thousand" Aztecs, maybe regarded 
as on a par with his story of the "one hundred and thirty-six 
thousand skulls of the victims of the teocalli," which he says 
he saw there, or the equally incredible number of human 
sacrifices offered yearly on their reeking altars.f Even Clav- 
igero, the Jesuit historian of Mexico, is forced to pause and 
decline to set down such monstrous figures in his history.;}: 
But, on the contrary, he states that "the victors [Spaniards], 
in one year of merciless massacre, sacrificed more human vic- 
tims to avarice and ambition than the Indians, during the 

* Dispatches of Cortez, pp. 362, 398, 405. Robertson's History of the Discovery 
and Settlement of America, pp. 252, 257, 485, 488, 494. 
f Helps's Life of Cortez, vol. ii. p. 305. 
\ History of Mexico, by Abbe F. S. Clavigero, vol. i, p. 281. 



14 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

existence of their empire, devoted in chaste worship to their 
native gods." * 

Cortez's own lips have furnished the real secret to his charac- 
ter, and proves that " the cursed lust for gold " was the leading 
motive that impelled him. Without hesitation he relates the 
following incident. At an entertainment which he gave to the 
officers of Montezuma on his first journey from the coast to the 
city of Mexico he inquired of them if their emperor had any 
gold, and, being answered in the affirmative, Cortez said : " Let 
him send it to me, for I and my companions have a complaint, 
a disease of the heart, which is cured by gold." f Montezuma 
soon sent all that he could spare, hoping to get rid of the un- 
welcome visitor, but he had not enough to " cure " the disease. 
It was a spasm of the same complaint, when he had captured 
the valiant Cuatemoctzin, the nephew and successor of Monte- 
zuma, who led the defense of the city when the emperor was a 
prisoner, that induced Cortez to commit the fearful crime that 
will forever stain the records of his great conquest. The booty 
which fell into his hands was so small, " only one hundred and 
twenty thousand pesos gold," that he believed Cuatemoctzin had 
secreted the treasure, and therefore ordered the princely man to 
be tortured, with his chief noble, by roasting their feet before a 
strong fire. The noble died under the torture, which was then 
suspended in the case of Cuatemoctzin, only to be renewed later, 
before he was hung by the conqueror, for refusing to reveal the 
secret. ^ So far from being ashamed of this diabolical act, the 
anniversary of the capture of Cuatemoctzin and the fall of the 
city which he so valiantly defended was regularly celebrated 
during the three hundred years of Spanish rule, till the inde- 
pendence, in 1821, brought the native race to the front and 
terminated the insulting celebration. "With such ample facts 
before us, what are we to think of the indorsement given to 
Cortez by Archbishop Lorenzana (already mentioned), who 

* History of Mexico, by Abbe F. S. Clavigero, vol. ii, p. 194. 
f Helps's Life of Cortez, vol. i, p. 56. 
t Robertson's History, pp. 252, 257. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 15 

annotated the Dispatches of Cortez to Charles V. ? In his clos- 
ing note he says : 

The Conquest took place in 1521, and in three years after Cortez, in 
this dispatch, speaks as if fifty years of wise government had elapsed. I 
shall ever reverence Cortez, and respect his name as that of a civil, mil- 
itary, and religious hero, unexampled in his career ; a subject who bore 
the freaks of fortune with fortitude and constancy, and a man destined by 
God to add to the possessions of the Catholic king a new and larger 
world. (P. 431.) 

We pause to note how completely the judgment of the arch- 
bishop was reversed by the divine providence. All that Cortez 
established has been swept away, to the last remnant of the des- 
potic civilization imposed upon the long-suffering race, whose 
enlightened sons are once more in possession of their country. 
On the 21st of August, 1889, the Mexicans dedicated on the 
Paseo de la Reforma — the magnificent drive leading from the 
city to the palace of Chapultepec — a colossal bronze statue of 
Cuatemoctzin, in honor of their valiant prince and last emperor. 
One of the largest assemblies of the aborigines ever seen in Mex- 
ico city was present to witness the solemnities, each bearing his 
garland to grace the monument which memorializes their de- 
liverance from ages of bitter humiliation. The triumphant ora- 
tion was pronounced in the Aztec language by Colonel Don 
Prospero Cahnantzin, Governor cf the State of TIaxcala. The 
national anthem was enthusiastically sung and the royal salute 
of twenty-one guns thundered out, during which President Diaz 
advanced and laid a wreath of roses and laurel at the foot of the 
statue. Need we wonder that Cuatemoctzin's race is now claim- 
ing a reversal of many of those popular opinions on the Con- 
quest which Spanish historians and those who were misdirected 
by them, have imposed on the world as the facts of history ? 

In settling down to enjoy the results of their unjust invasion 
the Conquistadores (as Cortez and his associates then were 
called) adopted a social system of a very oppressive character. 
Large portions of the land were parceled out into immense 
estates, and titles were conferred upon their Spanish owners, 



16 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

while the millions of the Aztee race were reduced to a condition 
of peonage. In the center of each estate haciendas (forti- 
fied farm-houses) were erected ; and here the natives had to live 
under the eve of the owner, or of his administrator, when the 
owner was non-resident, as was frequently the case. The 
owner, called a hacendado, fixed the rate of wages and re- 
quired the peons to draw their supplies from his store, giving 
him a double profit on their toil. A church was also erected, a 
Spanish priest appointed to the charge, pledged to add spiritual 
authority to sustain the claims of the hacendado. The Domin- 
ican monks were introduced, and under their administration 
branches of the Spanish Inquisition were established in the 
cities of Mexico and Puebla, for the repression of all dissent 
and the punishment of any heresy. Under the weight of this 
Spanish civilization the conquered race began their new life. 
Without education, on the most scanty subsistence, without 
owning the miserable hut of a single room that sheltered them, 
they dragged on for three centuries, ranking among the most 
ignorant and hopeless of the human race. Laws were passed 
by the viceroys, who were appointed by the King of Spain, to 
suit the situation, one of which was that the peons of one haci- 
enda were not at liberty to transfer themselves to another with- 
out the written permit of the hacendado or his agent, if they 
were in debt to the amount of twenty dollars. The estate own- 
ers took good care that their hands should be in debt to this 
extent all the time, so as to secure the control of their labor. 
Worse than this, many of these wretched people were formally 
reduced to the condition of absolute slavery, and some were even 
branded as such with the owner's initials by a red-hot iron, 
women as well as men !* while the middle class, the real back- 
bone of the nation, perished from the land. 

It is no wonder that Las Casas, the Bishop of Chiapas, pro- 
tested so earnestly against his countrymen's barbarities, which he 
declared threatened to exterminate the Aztec race, nor that he 
twice crossed the Atlantic to lay the sorrowful story of their 
* "Wilson's Mexico, p. 209. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 17 

wrongs before Ferdinand and Charles V. A grateful Mexican 
artist — Felix Parra — lias immortalized the good bishop's human- 
ity in that famous picture which occupy' js the place of honor in 
the Academy of Fine Arts in the city of Mexico. It is entitled 
" Las Casas Protecting the Indians," and represents the venera- 
ble man standing, while at bis feet is the bleeding body of an 
Aztec, whose anguished wife clings to his robe as he raises the 
cross for their protection, and his face, uplifted, is illumined as 
he appeals to Heaven for help for the oppressed. Who that 
has looked upon that pleading countenance can ever forget it ? 
The historians of the Conquest admit that the merciless Span- 
iards subjected not only the common people to these barbarous 
conditions of life, but also many of the caziques — nobles and 
governors — were degraded to the condition of peonage on the 
haciendas or to work in the mines. 

The monks of the Franciscan order were soon imported to 
Catholicize the native people and thus complete the work of 
Cortez. Magnificent endowments were provided for this order 
to carry on this work, until their head-quarters in the center of 
the city of Mexico became one of the most extensive and 
wealthy monastic-institutions in Christendom. 

A hundred years after Cortez reached Mexico, with this 
creed and civilization, the Pilgrim Fathers landed on Plym- 
outh Pock, and, notwithstanding all the natural disadvan- 
tages, from which Mexico is so happily free, they planted a 
faith and a freedom which have made the wilderness, the ster- 
ile soil, and the rock-bound coast a true commonwealth, and 
consolidated a glorious civilization of peace, intelligence, and 
prosperity without a rival on earth — the very reverse of the 
debasement to which Spain and Rome degraded Montezuma's 
race and country. If the Romish Church became an utter fail- 
ure in Mexico, as well as in Central and South America, that 
failure cannot be accounted for at a future day by any lack of 
material or adequate, even absolute, power for the accomplish- 
ment of the purposes to which Christianity aspires. She 
secured also boundless resources by means which she alone em- 



18 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

ploys ; she chose her methods, took all the time necessary to 
work out the results, and the world sees and laments her failure. 

Notwithstanding her efforts to conceal the vast accumula- 
tions she had been sweeping into her treasuries for three hun- 
dred years, rendering no account to the nation, either as to their 
extent or use, deliberately and contemptuously refusing to con- 
tribute a single dollar toward the public burdens, while claim- 
ing all immunities, some approximation of the amount had 
been made manifest to the nation she had so impoverished,, 
and successive governments have investigated in the hope that 
some portion of it might be made to fulfill its duty in helping 
bear the public burdens, especially when it became apparent 
that the lay estate could no longer carry all, or save the State 
from bankruptcy. 

The most successful of these efforts was made by the Liberal 
government in 1850, when Seilor Lerdo, then minister of public 
works, compiled a synopsis of the Mexican hierarchy, of the 
religious houses, their endowments, revenues, salaries, etc. 
While he could approximate very closely in regard to the mon- 
asteries, nunneries, their inmates, and the ecclesiastical staff, it 
was still in the power of the clericals to evade his investigations 
in regard to the bulk of the church property of Rome in Mexico, 
which they alone knew, and which for so many years they were 
using to fight against freedom in the land. 

Senor Lerdo's exhibit was approved by the " Mexican Society 
of Geography and Statistics " as worthy of public confidence, 
and it created a sensation. Men knew that but a part of the 
resources of this foreign Church was laid bare, but what had been 
ascertained revealed vast sums lavished upon institutions and 
orders of indolent, ignorant monks and nuns, who were con- 
suming in idleness wealth for want of which their poor suffer- 
ing countrymen were steeped in poverty and their government 
without resources. It was then calculated that the Church of 
Eome owned " 861 estates valued at $71,000,000, and 22,000 
city lots at $113,000,000— a total of $184,000,000." Some 
writers value the property thus held at $300,000,000, and the 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 19 

yearly income at $25,000,000, while the floating capital under 
the control of the archbishop and his chapter amounted to about 
$20,000,000, and was employed largely in loans and mortgages. 
The money power wielded by the Church was only second to 
her spiritual power, and she had a practical monopoly of both. 
Even as late as 1873, when we entered Mexico, there were only 
two or three banks in the republic. Yet there was plenty of 
money to be loaned, and at moderate rates of interest. For 
security they preferred bonds and mortgages, the expectation 
being that before the spirit left the dying frame influences could 
be brought to bear to lead the owner to leave a suitable part to 
be used for masses for his soul. 

Sefior Lerdo estimates the amount consumed in the main- 
tenance of the 3,223 ecclesiastics was annually $20,000,000, 
besides the large amounts expended in the repairs and orna- 
ments of an enormous number of churches. In 1793 the 
twelve bishops had $539,000 appropriated to their support, but 
now their revenues are so mixed up with the revenues of the 
Church that it is impossible to say how much these twelve 
" successors of the apostles " appropriate for their support.* 
Of this sum, it is understood, the Archbishop of Mexico received 
as his yearly salary $130,000, the Bishop of Puebla and Yalla- 
dolid (Morelia) $110,000 each, and the rest in due proportion. 
These facts led several competent men to investigate the sub- 
ject. Their substantial agreement renders it unnecessary that 
we should add statements to the representations which we have 
quoted and which are accepted in Mexico as sufficiently near to 
the facts of the case for all needful information. 

As to the object for which these means were employed and 
the power that they conferred to accomplish them, Mr. "Wilson 
remarks, in 1854 : 

In place of the Inquisition, which the reformed Spanish government 
took away from the Church of Mexico, the Church now wields the power 
of wealth, almost fabulous in amount, which is practically in the hands of 

* Mexico To-day, by Brocklehurst. London, 1883. Mexico, 1861-62, by Dr. 
Lempriere. Wilson's Mexico, p. 322. 



20 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

a close corporation sole. The influence of the archbishop, as the substantial 
owner of nearly half the property in the city of Mexico, gives him a power 
over his tenants unknown under our system of laws. Besides this a large 
portion of the church property is in money, and the archbishop is the 
great loan and trust company of Mexico. Nor is this power by any means 
an insignificant one. A bankrupt government is overawed by it. Men 
of intellect are crushed into silence, and no opposition can successfully 
stand against the influence of the Church Lord, who carries in his hand 
the treasures of heaven and in his money-bags the material that moves 
the world. To understand the full force of his power of money it must 
be borne in mind that Mexico is a country proverbial for recklessness in 
all conditions of life; for extravagant living and extravagant equij)ages; 
a country where a man's position in society is determined by the state he 
maintains ; a country the basis of whose wealth is the mines of precious 
metal, where princely fortunes are quickly acquired and suddenly lost, 
and where hired labor has hardly a cash value. In such a country the 
power and influence of money has a meaning beyond any idea we can 
form. Look at a jirominent man making an ostentatious display of his 
devotion; his example is of ad vantage to the Church, and the Church may 
be of advantage to him, for it has an abundance of money at six per cent, 
per annum, while the outside money-lenders charge him two per cent, per 
month. The Church, too, may have a mortgage upon his house overdue; 
and woe betide him if he should undertake a crusade against the Church. 
This is a string that the Church can pull upon, which is strong enough to 
overawe government itself. (P. 323.) 

What lias she to show the impoverished nation for these 
hundreds of millions which she has extracted from it % A peo- 
ple without intelligence or morality or self-respect, steeped 
to the lips in ignorance, poverty, and peonage as the Mexicans 
were thirty years ago, and had been ever since the Conquest. 

"What became of all this wealth? Two or three quota- 
tions will indicate for what purposes it has been so prodigally 
employed, while the poor nation from which it was taken 
was perishing for the improved conditions which that wealth 
would surely have brought. Instead of that, this is the use of 
it in which they have gloried. Madame Calderon writes : 

Innumerable were the churches we visited that evening. . . . The cathe- 
dral (in Mexico city) was the first we entered, and its magnificence struck 
us with amazement. Its gold and silver and jewels, its innumerable orna- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 21 

ments and holy vessels, the rich dresses of the priests, all seemed burning 
with almost intolerable brightness. The high altar was the most mag- 
nificent; the second, with its pure white marble pillars, the most impos- 
ing. . . . Each church had vied with the others in putting forth all its 
splendors of jewelry, of lights, of dresses, and of music. . . . There are be- 
tween sixty and eighty others, some of them possessing little less wealth 
than the cathedral. (P. 108.) 

We were also shown the jewels, which they keep buried in case of a 
revolution. The custodia, the gold stand in which they carry the Host, is 
entirely incrusted with large diamonds, pearls, emeralds, amethysts r 
topazes, and rubies. The chalices are equally rich. There are four sets of 
jewels for the bishop. One of his crosses is of emei"alds and diamonds, 
another of topazes and diamonds, with great rings of the same belonging 
to each. (P. 274.) 

To the right of the altar of the Cathedral of Puebla is the gem of the 
building. It is a figure of the Virgin Mary, near the size of life. Dressed 
in the richest embroidered satin, she displays strings of the largest pearls, 
hanging from her neck to below her knees. Around her brow is clasped 
a crown of gold, inlaid with emeralds of marvelous size. Her waist is 
bound with a zone of diamonds, from the center of which blaze numbers 
of enormous brilliants. 

To cap this climax we need only quote one more testimony 
concerning the shrine 

r/ 
In which rest the figure of the "Virgin of Remedios," who enjoys the 
exclusive right, amid her other treasures, to three petticoats, one of them 
embroidered with pearls, another with emeralds, and a third with 
diamonds, the value of which is credibly stated at not less than three 
millions of dollars. 

In addition to all this wealth hidden in her churches, Rome 
increased the burdens upon the nation by her monastic system, 
which she jealously secluded from any governmental inspection, 
or the influence of public opinion as to the personnel, property, 
or the rights and liberties of the thousands around whom she 
erected those massive walls. Seiior Lerdo's statistics give their 
number. How fearful is the fact stated by Robertson: "In 
the city of Mexico alone there are more than fifty convents, 
male and female, containing three thousand three hundred indi- 
viduals" (p. 515). The unfortunate city had borne this load 



22 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

for centuries notwithstanding all her protests. In proof of 
this Robertson adds : 

In the year 1644 the city of Mexico presented a petition to the King of 
Spain, praying that no new monastery be founded, and that the revenues 
of those already established might be circumscribed; otherwise the relig- 
ious houses would soon acquire the property of the whole country. . . . 
The abuse must have been enormous indeed, when even the bigoted Span- 
ish Americans were induced to remonstrate against them. 

He also states that these numerous clergy " were generally 
native Spaniards, devoted to the interests of the king, the Church, 
and the Inquisition, passing their lives in criminal indulgence 
or luxurious repose." The Spaniards took good care to reserve 
all the positions of their political system, as well as the ease of 
the monastic establishments for men of their own race, and 
systematically excluded all Aztecs from the priesthood. 

Clavigero took exception to this statement of Dr. Robertson, 
but on referring the question to Madrid the representations 
were amply vindicated (p. 518). It was a foreign priesthood 
from first to last that wrought out the sad condition that we 
deplore in Mexico. 

Let us contemplate a single item of this heavy burden which 
dragged so long upon the resources of the land. Of the fifty 
convents, in the caj)ital alone, the most important and wealthy 
was that of San Francisco. We speak of this one from our per- 
sonal knowledge. It was in the center of the city, and covered 
an area equivalent to four large blocks of ground. It con- 
tained an immense church and four suffragan chapels. In the cen- 
ter was a magnificent patio, or cloister, where the monks prome- 
naded, which, with its pillars and carved arches, must have cost a 
very large amount of money to erect. There were also residences 
of the superior, refectories, gardens, and orchards, with suitable 
equipments, the whole inclosed with massive walls. Its re- 
sources were so ample that it was regarded as the most wealthy 
monastic establishment in the New World, with few, if any, in 
the Old World to surpass it. 

In this establishment, as in all the rest of its kind throughout 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 23 

the land, millions of the money of Mexico, extracted from its 
people by many questionable expedients, were locked up in 
costly buildings, while other millions were invested so as to 
yield large revenues for the luxurious use of the Spanish eccle- 
siastics who occupied them. They scorned the idea of owing 
any responsibility for their vast revenues or paying taxation 
toward the support of the government of the country, while 
they were ever ready to furnish funds to aid every effort to 
crush the party of freedom in order to perpetuate their own 
exclusive privileges. When the Liberals at last struggled up to 
power, and had to face the question, and under Benito Juarez 
became strong enough to enforce the decree of sequestration, in 
spite of the stubborn defense of the church party, which re- 
fused all compromise and threatened the government and the 
Congress with all the maledictions and ghostly penalties in their 
power, they began with this monastery of San Francisco, by a 
demand for admission and the keys. From within the monks 
refused. The general commanding sent for the engineer corps 
of his brigade, and led them to the center of the outer wall,where 
it was about twelve or fourteen feet high. Ladders were raised, 
and with pickax and crowbar the great stones were soon loos- 
ened. They broke down the wall to the ground, and while 
part remained to clear away the debris the rest went across the 
garden and began their work on the opposite wall, and when 
this was open a street, now known as Calle de Independencia, 
was completed right through the establishment. The monks 
were then informed that the government was in possession, and 
that they must leave. A small pension was assigned them for 
their old age. The fraudulent aspect of the whole affair w T as 
laid bare when it was discovered that this massive establishment 
and its revenues were monopolized by the fourteen old monks 
who stood there before the Liberal general ! 

The place was mapped out and divided into lots to suit pur- 
chasers, as were more than one hundred and fifty similar com- 
munities, and was turned to all sorts of uses — dwellings, schools, 
stores, florist's garden, places of amusement, and of manufact- 



24 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

lire. Being so many, they were sold at prices ridiculously low, 
considering their original cost. It became the duty of the writer 
to purchase a portion of this property of this San Francisco 
establishment, for our mission purposes, the part of it already 
mentioned as the "cloisters," for which we paid $16,300. The 
extent of the monastery may be imagined from the statement 
that this portion, though one hundred and eighty feet in depth, 
was not more than one fiftieth part of the property which had 
sheltered so many generations of lazy monks who added nothing 
to the resources of the country, but lived and died like 

" Idle drones, 
Born to consume the produce of the soil." 

~No wonder the freemen of Mexico wished to end this folly 
and deliver Mexico from the incubus of their presence. The 
archbishop protested, and threatened excommunication, but 
when all was done tried to force the purchasers into the con- 
cession of paying a second price to him as a condition of release 
from his interdicts, and giving the sanction of the Church to 
their title. A very few timid souls may have yielded to the 
illegal demand. The writer was artfully approached with the 
same purpose, but promptly declined to discredit the govern- 
ment of the republic by any such concession. 

The great wealth she so long enjoyed corrupted the Church. 
In her self-sufficiency she arranged to elevate herself above all 
responsibility to any other power, and claimed inviolability and 
immunity from secular jurisdiction. The clericals should be 
amenable only to clerical courts, not merely for their own per- 
sons, but their property as well — a repetition of the prerogatives 
insisted on by the clergy of the mediaeval ages, as lately shown 
by H. C. Lea, in his History of the Inquisition. These priv- 
ileges were denominated fueros, under which 

They established courts, in which every question relating to their own 
character, their functions, their property, was tried and pleaded, and ob- 
tained almost total exemption from the authority of civil law and civil 

judges.* 

* Robertson's Charles V., p. 34. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 25 

This position, under which she could not be called to any re- 
sponsibility by the State, immensely increased her power for 
doing mischief. With her abundance of money and the co- 
operation of the aristocracy, and the service of her partisans of 
every class, bound to her by all motives in heaven and earth, 
this ecclesiastical despotism dominated Mexico. It knew the 
price of the corrupt generals, and could furnish the funds for 
a " pronunciamento," under which the liberal administration of 
the hour would be overthrown, and the executive that replaced 
it would be required to furnish assurance that ecclesiastical mat- 
ters should be held paramount in his administration. We have 
in our possession a body of photographs, fifty-two in number, 
portraits of the persons who have governed Mexico, under 
various titles, during the fifty-eight years from 1821 to 1879. 
Let three of these be deducted of those who ruled longest, 
Juarez, Maximilian, and Diaz, nearly seventeen years between 
them ; there remain then fifty governors for forty-one years, or 
an average reign to each of about nine months and twenty-one 
days. The terrible fact is that each of these frequent changes 
was the result of a " pronunciamento," a conflict, bloodshed, and 
waste of money. It may be asked here whether there is a par- 
allel to this atrocious case in all the history of Christendom. 

Most of these sudden and expensive changes transpired in the 
great plaza, or square, shown in the opposite picture. This is 
the most historic spot in all Mexico. To the left is the great 
cathedral, built on the site of the Teocalli, or Temple, of Mon- 
tezuma, so often referred to in the histories, and where so much 
of the wealth of the Church is stored. Back from the garden 
.and where the flag waves is the National Palace, frequently 
called the " Halls of Montezuma." To the right, and under 
the tall flag, is the Municipal Palace, where the city govern- 
ment and courts are situated. The whole area is very extensive 
and is a great center of business and wealth. 

Leaving the past out of view for the time, we present, from 
unquestioned evidence, some samples of their peculiar Catholi- 
cism and its practices, which will explain the degradation into 



26 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

which Mexico has sunk. In doing this very little Protestant 
testimony will be quoted — as some of our readers might hardly 
resist the fear that such representations would be prejudiced — 
nor will any Roman Catholic evidence be presented except that 
of the highest character. 

The two witnesses whose testimony will abundantly prove on 
this ground the necessity of introducing the reformed faith 
into Mexico are both of the highest class, prominent Romanists, 
one from Spain and the other from France. The witness 
from Spain is a lady, the accomplished wife of the first Spanish 
embassador to Mexico, Madame Calderon De La Barca. The 
reader is aware that as a result of the wars of the first Napoleon 
and the state of things inaugurated in Spain by him something 
approaching constitutional rule was established there — the Inqui- 
sition was abolished both in Spain and her dependencies. Mexico 
felt the thrill of the better day and welcomed it heartily, and 
before the despotism of the Spanish monarch, Ferdinand VII., 
could be restored, Mexico proclaimed her independence, which 
was finally achieved in 1822. A feeble attempt was made to 
regain the lost province, but that failed, and Mexico was hence- 
forth to govern herself as well as she could, amid the struggle 
with the Church and the aristocracy against the people. For 
fifteen years Spain remained aggrieved, when, finding she was 
only doing herself disadvantage by refusing to open diplomatic 
relations with her revolted dependency, she concluded, in 
1839, to forget her wounded pride, and, acknowledging the 
independence of Mexico, appointed a minister to represent her. 
The choice fell upon Senor Calderon De La Barca, who was well 
suited for the purpose. His wife was eminently fitted to adorn 
her high position by a splendid education, her many accomplish- 
ments, and other qualities which enabled her to fill most accept- 
ably the delicate duties of her position. Coming by the 
United States, they left their daughters at school in New York, 
and reached Mexico in December of 1839, where they were 
received in the most cordial manner by the government and 
the people. Madame Calderon became a special favorite, and 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 27 

was indeed a privileged person. She was truly devout as well as 
accomplished. The clergy were delighted with her, and she had 
the entree to every thing that a lady might see and study during 
the nearly three years that their term of office lasted. She was 
regarded as lending the luster of the Spanish court and aristocracy 
to the society of Mexico by her presence and courtesies. 

Meanwhile, to interest her daughters, she wrote a regular 
series of letters, giving them full particulars of all she was 
privileged to see and enjoy, without any expectation that they 
would ever go into print. But W. H. Prescott, the historian, 
had meanwhile made the acquaintance of the family, and was 
allowed to hear these interesting letters. He recommended so 
earnestly that such rich stores of instruction and amusement 
should not be reserved for the eyes of a few friends only, but that 
they should be given to the world, that after Madame Calderon's 
return from Mexico she consented to do so, having made such 
alterations and omissions as were necessary in a private cor- 
respondence. They were accordingly published in a volume 
under the title Life in Mexico. How little she imagined the 
tumult of feeling the publication would cause among the clericals 
of Mexico ! And yet there is not a bitter word or a false accusa- 
tion in the whole book ; nor could she imagine that the simple 
truth would hurt either their feelings or their interests. Yet 
it did, though so gently spoken, because they did not wish the 
light let in upon their doings. 

The other person whose testimony is so important in regard 
to the state of things in Mexico was the Abbe Emanuel 
Domenech, chaplain of the French Expeditionary Force, the 
trusted representative of Napoleon III., of whose admissions 
we shall have more to say later on, when we reach the "Interven- 
tion " period, but whom we here introduce for his testimony in 
regard to what he found in Mexico after the failure of the 
French, and the death of Maximilian, when, his first office hav- 
ing ended, he was required before leaving Mexico to go through 
the land on a tour of observation, and report on the truth of the 
rumors which had reached the outside world as to the low 



28 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

moral and religious condition of the clergy and Church of Rome 
in Mexico. This duty lie fulfilled thoroughly, and on his return 
published his report in Paris, in 1867, entitled Mexico As It Is, 
the Truth Respecting its Climate, its Inhabitants, and its Govern- 
ment. His account is a fearful record. Nothing worse, prob- 
ably, was eyer published of a Church and people than what his 
pages contain. And yet the abbe was a prominent clergyman 
of the Romish Church of France, describing the clergy and 
people of the same Church in Mexico. The book was published 
in French, and was evidently not intended for the Protestant 
eye. As to the character of the religious sentiments which 
the Mexican clergy have so long fostered and still sustain, the 
abbe, writing in 1867, says : 

Mexican faith is a dead faith. The abuse of external ceremonies, the 
facility of reconciling the devil with God, the absence of internal exercises 
of piety, have Trilled the faith in Mexico. It is in vain to seek good fruit 
from the worthless tree, which makes Mexican religion a singular as- 
semblage of heartless devotion, shameful ignorance, insane superstition, 
and hideous vice. . . . The idolatrous character of Mexican Catholicism 
is a fact well known to all travelers. The worship of saints and madon- 
nas so absorbs the devotion of the people that little time is left to think 
about God. Religious ceremonies are performed with a most lamentable 
indifference and want of decorum. The Indians go to hear mass with 
their poultry and vegetables which they are carrying to market. I have 
had to abandon the Cathedral of Mexico, where I used to go every morn- 
ing, because I could not collect my thoughts there. The gobble of 
the turkeys, the crowing of cocks, the barking of dogs, the mewing 
of cats, the chirping of birds in their nests in the ceiling, and the flea- 
bites rendered meditation impossible to me, unaccustomed to live in such 
a menagerie. . . . One day I was present at an Indian dance, celebrated 
in honor of the patron saint of the village. Twenty-four boys and girls 
were dancing in the church, in the presence of the priest. An Indian, 
with his face concealed under a mask of an imaginary divinity resembling 
the devil, with horns and claws, was directing the figures of the dance, 
which reminded me of that of the Redskins! I remarked to the priest, 
who, for all that, w T as an excellent priest, that it was very incongruous to 
permit such a frolic in a church. 

" The old customs," he replied, "are respectable; it is well to preserve 
them, only taking care that they do not degenerate into orgies." . . . 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 29 

During holy week I have seen processions of three thousand persons 
stripped and covered only with sackcloth, so coarse as to show that the 
individual had not even a shirt. The different phases of the passion of 
Christ were represented by groups of painted statues large as life, and by 
men and women placed upon stages, borne on the shoulders of hundreds 
of Indians. The bearers, bending under the weight of their burden, 
would go, from time to time, to refresh themselves at the liquor shops, 
leaving in the middle of the streets the groups representing the passion. 
Jews and Romans, decked with helmets of tin plate, breastplates of paste- 
board, and breeches embroidered with silver, made a part of the procession. 

The mysteries of the Middle Ages are utterly outdone by the burlesque 
ceremonies of the Mexicans. The accouchement of the Virgin on Christ- 
mas night appears to me indecent. In France the police would forbid 
the ceremony as a shock to public morals. But public morality being a 
thing unknown in Mexico the custom of representing the accouchement of 
the Virgin in many of the churches offends no one. 

But we forbear any further quotations from this paragraph. 
The abbe finds himself forced to the sad conclusion, after their 
three hundred years of opportunity, which he expresses in the 
two sentences following : 

It would require volumes to relate the Indian superstitions of an idola- 
trous character which exist to this day. For want of serious instruction 
you find in the Catholicism of the Indians numerous remains of the old 
Aztec paganism. 

The observations I have made of the religious sentiments of the Mexicans 
are not confined to the ignorant classes. They apply equally to those who 
are well-to-do.* 

As further samples of their religious practices we take from 
Madame Calderon's work the following extracts : 

All Mexicans at present, men and women, are engaged in what are 
called the desagravios, a public penance performed at this season in the 
churches during thirty-five days. The women attend church in the 
morning, no man being permitted to enter, and men in the evening, when 
women are not permitted. Both rules are occasionally broken. 

The other night I was present at a much stranger scene, at the discipline 
performed by the men, admission having been procured for us by certain 
means, private hit powerful. Accordingly, when it was dark, enveloped 
from head to foot in large cloaks, and without the slightest idea of what 

* See Mexico and the United States, by Gorman D. Abbot, p. 203, etc. 



30 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

it was, we went on foot through the streets to the Church of San Augus- 
tin. . . . The scene was curious. About one hundred and fifty men, en- 
veloped in cloaks and serapes, their faces entirely concealed, were assem- 
bled in the body of the church. A monk had just mounted the pulpit, 
and the church was dimly lighted, except where he stood in bold relief, 
with his gray robes and cowl thrown back, giving a full view of his high 
bald forehead and expressive face. 

His discourse was a rude but very forcible and eloquent description of 
the torments prepared in hell for impenitent sinners. The effect of the 
whole was very solemn. It appeared like a preparation or the execu- 
tion of a multitude of condemned criminals. When the discourse was fin- 
ished they all joined in prayer with much fervor and enthusiasm, beating 
their breasts and falling upon their faces. Then the monk stood up and 
in a very distinct voice read several passages of Scripture descriptive of 
the sufferings of Christ. The organ then struck up the Miserere, and all 
of a sudden the church was phmged in profound darkness, all but a 
sculptured representation of the crucifixion, which seemed to hang in the 
air illuminated. I felt rather frightened, and would have been very glad 
to leave the church, but it would have been impossible in the darkness. 
Suddenly a terrible voice in the dark cried, "My brothers, when Christ 
was fastened to the pillar by the Jews he was scourged I " At these words 
the bright figure disappeared and the darkness became total. Suddenly 
we heard the sound of hundreds of scourges descending upon the bare 
flesh. I cannot conceive any thing more horrible. Before ten minutes 
had passed the sound became splashiiig, from the blood that was flowing. 

Incredible as it may seem, this awful penance continued, without in- 
termission, for half an hour ! If they scourged each other their energy 
might be less astonishing. 

We could not leave the church, but it was perfectly sickening; and 

had I not been able to take hold of the Senora 's hand, and feel 

something human beside me, I could have fancied myself transported into 
a congregation of evil spirits. Now and then, but very seldom, a sup- 
pressed groan was heard, and occasionally the voice of the monk encour- 
aging them by ejaculations or by short passages of Scripture. Sometimes 
the organ struck up, and the poor wretches, in a faint voice, tried to join 
in the Miserere. The sound of the scourging is indescribable. At the end 
of half an hour a little bell was rung, and the voice of the monk was 
heard calling upon them to desist ; but such was their enthusiasm that the 
horrible lashing continued louder and fiercer than ever. 

In vain he entreated them not to kill themselves, and assured them 
that Heaven would be satisfied and that human nature could not endure 
beyond a certain point. No answer but the loud sound of 4he scourges, 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 31 

which are, many of them, of iron, with, sharp points that enter the flesh. 
At length, as if they were perfectly exhausted, the sound grew fainter, and 
little by little ceased altogether. We then got up, and with great diffi- 
culty groped our way in the pitch darkness through the galleries and 
down the stairs till we reached the door and had the pleasure of feeling 
the fresh air again. They say that the church floor is frequently covered 
with blood after one of those penances, and that a man died the other 
day in consequence of his wounds."* 

In the Santa Teresa convent, in the refectory . . . they showed us a 
crown of thorns, which on certain days is worn by one of their number 
by way of penance. It is made of iron, so that the nails, entering inward, 
run into the head and make it bleed. . . . 

We visited the different cells, and were horror-struck at the self-inflicted 
tortures. Each bed consists of a wooden plank raised in the middle, and 
on days of penance crossed by wooden bars. The pillow is wooden, with 
a cross lying on it, which they hold in their hands when they lie down. 
The nun lies on this penitential couch, embracing the cross, and her feet 
hanging out, as the bed is made too short for her upon principle. Round 
her waist she occasionally wears a band with iron points turning inward; 
on her breast a cross with nails, of which the points enter the flesh, of the 
truth of which I had melancholy ocular demonstration. Thus, after hav- 
ing scourged herself with a whip covered with iron nails, she lies down for 
a few hours on the wooden bars, and rises at four o'clock. All these in- 
struments of discipline, which each nun keeps in a little box beside her bed, 
look as if their fitting place would be in the dungeons of the Inquisition. 
They made me try their led and hoard, which I told them would give me 
a very decided taste for early rising.f 

These are some of the ceremonies of modern Romanism 
in Mexico. My readers can imagine what St. Paul would 
have said had he stood with Madame Calderon on these 
occasions and had been asked if this were Christianity. Or 
the prophet Elijah, to whom it might have recalled the 
dreadful scene on Mount Carmel, when confronted by the 
one hundred and fifty priests of Baal, who "cried aloud and 
cut themselves with knives and lancets until the blood gashed 
out upon them." Was the above scene any higher, as worship 
or atonement, than what we missionaries witness of the self- 

* Life in Mexico, by Madame Calderon, p. 213. Chapman & Hall, London, 1843. 
f Ibid., pp. 223, 224. 



32 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

torturing fakirs in India ? Nay, verily, they are alike heathen 
abominations in the sight of God, and of no value to the soul. 
"We brought from Mexico a full set of these instruments of tort- 
ure, purchased from those who had used them. They are blood- 
stained and rusty from use, and are here presented photographed 
on a reduced scale. The set includes five articles. Number 1 is 
the scourge referred to by Madame Calderon, and is used in the 
more public penance, which she was allowed, as a special favor, 
to witness. It is about eighteen inches long, and the steel points 
project a full half inch on all sides. The lash is swept over 
both shoulders and strikes down to the waist. Numbers 3, 4, 
and 5 are for more private infliction, and are worn under the 
clothing. Number 2 is a circlet, called " the crown," for the 
head, the points being about an eighth of an inch long, and is to 
be tightened around the head. Number 3 and the rest have 
points nearly a quarter of an inch long, and are designed for the 
arms and limbs. Number 5 is for the waist, and has a strong 
buckle at the end, by which it may be tightened as much as the 
poor sufferer can endure. The tighter they are worn the more 
meritorious is the penance. So unmercifully are they used that 
they often make the blood trickle down into the stockings and 
shoes ! 

Now let us hear the abbe further as to the character of the 
religion which is professed in connection with these ceremo- 
nies. He says : 

The Mexican is not a Catholic ; he is simply a Christian, because he 
has been baptized. I speak of the masses, and not of the numerous excep- 
tions to be met with in all classes of society. 

I say that Mexico is not a Catholic country: 

1. Because a majority of the native population are semi-idolaters. 

2. Because the majority of the Mexicans carry ignorance of religion to 
such a point that they have no other worship than that of form. It is 
materialism without a doubt. They do not know what it is to worship 
God in spirit and in truth, according to the Gospel. ... If the pope 
should abolish all simoniacal livings, aud excommunicate all the priests 
having concubines, the Mexican clergy would be reduced to a very small 
affair. Nevertheless, there are some worthy men among them, whoso 




THE " DISCIPLINAS," 

Used on the body for self-torture. 




THE " DISCIPLINAS," 

Used on the body for self-torture. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 33 

conduct as priests is irreproachable. ... In all Spanish America there 
are found, among the priests, the veriest wretches — knaves deserving 
the gallows — men who make an infamous traffic of religion. Mexico 
has her share of tliese wretches. Whose fault is it? In the past it has 
been Spanish manners — climate. In the present it is the episcopate. If 
the bishops had good seminaries, where pupils could receive a sound and 
serious education; if the bishops had more energy; if they were more 
cautious in the choice of candidates for the priesthood; if they required 
others to observe, and observed themselves, more scrupulously, the canon- 
ical laws of the Church, they would not see the disorder of which they 
are now the first to complain. ... I have known, in the south and in 
the north of the Mexican Empire, pastors who gave balls at their houses 
and never thought the least in the world that it would be better to dis- 
tribute bread to the poor than to give champagne and refreshments to 
the danseuses. 

The clergy carry their love of the family to that of paternity. In 
my travels in the interior of Mexico many pastors have refused me hospi- 
tality in order to prevent my seeing their nieces and cousins, and their 
children. It is difficult to determine the character of these connections. 
Priests who are recognized as fathers of families are by no means rare. 
The people consider it natural enough, and do not rail at the conduct 
of their pastors, excepting when they are not contented with one wife. 
... I remember that one of these prelates, passing through a village 
near the episcopal city, the priest said to him, " Sire, have the goodness to 
bless my children and their mother." The good bishop blessed them. 
There was a chamberful. Another did better still. lie baptized the child 
of one of his priests. Can a clergy of such character make saints ? I 
doubt. Nevertheless, they must not be taken for heretics. . . . 

They make merchandise of the sacraments, and make money by every 
religious ceremony, without thinking that they are guilty of simony, and 
expose themselves to the censures of the Church. If Roman justice had 
its course in Mexico one half of the Mexican clergy would he excommuni- 
cated. . . . The well-instructed priests, disinterested and animated by a 
truly apostolical spirit, holy souls whose religious sentiments are of good 
character, constitute an insignificant minority. . . . 

But is it not a lie to God and men to make a vow of poverty and then 
live in the midst of abundance and comfort, as the ecclesiastics of all 
Spanish America do? 

One of the greatest evils in Mexico is the exorbitant fee for the mar- 
riage ceremony. The priests compel the poor to live without marriage, 
by demanding for the nuptial benediction a sum that a Mexican mechanic, 
with his slender wages, can scarcely accumulate in fifty years of the 



34 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

strictest economy. This is no exaggeration. The consequences of the 
excessive demands for perquisites in general are as lamentable to public 
morality as to religion. One of the first duties of the Mexican episcopate 
should be, in my opinion, to reduce the fee for baptisms, marriages, dis- 
pensations, and every thing else indispensable to the performance of relig- 
ious duties.* 

Another "brief testimony from Madame Calderon which is 
especially pointed. The evil existing in monastic institutions 
was concealed as far as possible from her ; yet, doubtless with 
a sad heart, she made this entry : 

Some of these convents are not entirely free from scandal. Among the 
monks there are many who are openly a disgrace to their calling, though I 
firmly believe that by far the greater number lead a life of privation and 
virtue. 

Once more, as it intrudes itself on her view even in the public 
streets, she is reminded of the attempts of the "Viceroy Revil- 
lagigedo, as long ago as his time, to restrain the profligacy of 
these monks by stern expulsion. She adds : 

Alas! could his excellency have lived in these degenerate days and 
beheld certain monks of a certain order drinking pulque and otherwise dis- 
porting themselves, nay, seen one, as we but just now did from the win- 
dow, strolling along the street by lamp-light, with an Tndita (Indian girl) 
tucked under his arm ! (Pp. 153, 238.) 

In one of the quotations from the abbe we read, " The Mex- 
ican is not a Catholic ; he is simply a Christian because he has 
been baptized." This distinction is amusing to a Protestant. 
How a "semi-idolater," "ignorant of spiritual worship." can be 
a Christian in any sense acceptable to God is something evan- 
gelicals cannot realize, and it shows how sacred terms are per- 
verted by the false theology of Romanism. He would explain 
his remark by the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. The 
poor Indian having been baptized by one in the " apostolic 
succession" was therein regenerated, notwithstanding all his 
" insane superstition " and " hideous vice." Poor Mexico ! 
Romanism has not saved her ; she needs the true Gospel 

* Mexico and the United States, pp. 195, etc. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 35 



of the Lord Jesus, offering her the mercy that she requires, 
freely. 

The perversion has been so great and the abolition of biblical 
ideas of truth and purity so complete in the ruin wrought by 
this fallen Church upon the nation that the evangelization of 
Mexico has thus been made the most difficult work to which 
the Church of Christ can now address herself. If it were not for 
the promised power of the Holy Spirit, to whose blessed agency 
all things are possible, the condition would seem almost hope- 
less. But with this co-operation it is our privilege to believe 
and expect that the mercy and consolation reserved for this 
deeply injured people will all the more transcend the weight of 
sorrow through which they have passed, so that " where sin 
abounded grace shall much more abound." 

Rome began her rule in Mexico by sweeping away by red- 
handed violence the intellectual stamina of the nation as well 
as its records and literature. On this point Baron Humboldt's 
testimony is conclusive. His great learning and thorough 
inquiry in examinations conducted on the ground itself enable 
him to speak with full authority. Of the original wrong and 
destruction of the middle class, which wrecked the nation, he 
writes : 

The Christian fanaticism broke out in a particular manner against the 
Aztec priests and the teopiqui, or ministers of the divinity, and all those 
who inhabited the teocallis, or houses of God, who might be considered as 
the depositaries of the historical, mythological, and astronomical knowl- 
edge of the country, were exterminated ; for the priests observed the me- 
ridian shade in the gnomons and regulated the calendar. The monks 
burned the hieroglyphical paintings by which every kind of knowledge 
had been transmitted from generation to generation. The people, deprived 
of these means of instruction, were plunged in an ignorance so much the 
deeper, as the missionaries were unskilled in the Mexican languages and 
could substitute few new ideas in place of the old. The better sort of 
Indians, among whom a certain degree of culture and intellect might be 
supposed, perished in great part at the commencement of the Spanish 
conquest, the victims of European ferocity. The natives who remained 
consisted only of the most indigent race — poor cultivators, artisans, 
weavers — porters who were used as beasts of burden. How shall wc 



36 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

judge, then, from these miserable remains of a powerful people, of the de- 
gree of cultivation to which it had risen from the twelfth to the sixteenth 
century, and of the intellectual development of which it is susceptible ? 
If all that remained of the French or German nation were a few poor 
agriculturists, could we read in their features that they belonged to nations 
which had produced a Descartes and a Clairaut, a Kepler and a Leib- 
nitz ? * ( 

In General Lew Wallace's valuable work entitled Quetzel, or 
The Fair God, the author has united together the incidental 
evidence which history and legend still hold of Montezuma's 
empire and people as they were before the Spaniards invaded 
their country and savagely destroyed their prosperity. It was a 
worthy service to render to Mexico, and may well rank in this 
sense next to that which he embodied in Ben Hur, when pre- 
senting to the world the civilization which characterized the 
period of the Incarnation and the nature of the foreign rule 
which had displaced the native dynasty of the Jewish people. 
Even Nero's despotic government left uninjured the conquered 
race in the very particulars in which the Roman Church and 
Spanish government crushed life and freedom and hope out of 
the Aztec people. This conviction was ingrained into the 
minds of many of the intelligent native gentlemen of Mexico. 
One such said to the writer in 1875 : 

My countrymen are to-day in a far worse condition than they were when 
Oortez burned his ships behind him in the harbor of Vera Cruz and 
marched to the conquest of Montezuma's empire — worse fed, worse clad, 
worse housed, and more ignorant than they were that day. 

Few that know Mexico would call this terrible accusation in 
question ; while the quotations which we have made from the 
work of the Abbe Domenech (whose veracity no Romanist will 
call in question) show that it is the Church and not the State 
that must be held responsible for the guilt involved in the 
above charge. Take the single fact of the burning shame so 
long festering in the social life of Mexico, which is one of the 
charges that the abbe brings against his Church, the absence of 
* Essai Politique, vol. i, p. 117. 



MEXICO IX TRANSITION. 37 

marriage and the consequent general prevalence of illegitimacy 
over the land. 

Nor was it from the poor uninstructed millions of the Otomi 
or Aztec race alone that she took away the " key of knowledge," 
as we learned when fitting up a church in the city of Mexico. 
The Ten Commandments were placed on either side of the pulpit. 
Intelligent Mexican gentlemen were constantly coming in to see 
the changes going forward in the building, and they would 
stand in front of the second commandment and read every word 
of it, read it again, as those who had never seen it before, and 
sometimes would turn to us and ask if that " was really in the 
Bible?" 

Then, mark the universal practice of image worship, the doc- 
trine of purgatory, with its corresponding tenet of indulgences ; 
without the Bible or the school, terrorized by the Inquisition, 
and threatened with the " major excommunication," or the per- 
petual pains of hell, if they desired a change or claimed freedom 
to worship God. It seems incredible that a Church could thus 
crowd a nation into destitution and ignorance, but the testimony 
cannot be questioned. Beyond the impoverishment caused by 
her extravagant church demands, there was another means 
more potent still to draw from the people their resources, by 
masses and indulgences for the souls of the dead. General 
Waddy Thompson, United States embassador in Mexico, ex- 
presses his amazement at what he saw in 1845. He writes : 

The immense wealth which is collected in the churches is not by any 
means all, or even the larger portion, of the wealth of the Mexican Church 
and clergy. They own very many of the finest houses in Mexico and other 
cities (the rents of which must be enormous), besides valuable real estates 
all over the republic. Almost every person leaves a bequest in his will for 
masses for his soul, which constitute an encumbrance upon the estate, and 
thus nearly all the estates of the small proprietors are mortgaged to the 
Church. 

As a means of raising money I would not give the single institution of 
the Catholic religion of masses and indulgences for the benefit of the souls 
of the dead for the power of taxation possessed by any government. Of 
all the artifices of cunning and venality to extort money from credulous 



38 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

weakness there is none so potential as a mass for the benefit of the souls 
in purgatory. Our own more rational faith teaches that when a man dies 
his account is closed and his destiny for good or evil is fixed forever, and 
that he is to be judged by "the deeds done in the body; " but another 
creed inculcates that that destiny may be modified or changed by prayers 
at once posthumous, vicarious, and venal. It would seem to be in direct 
contradiction to the Saviour in the comparison of the camel passing 
through the eye of a needle. Nothing is easier than for a rich man to 
enter the kingdom of heaven; he purchases that entrance with money. 
I do not know how the fee for these masses is exacted, but I do know that 
it is regularly paid, and that, without the fee, the mass would be regarded 
of no value or efficacy. I remember that my washerwoman once asked me 
to lend her two dollars. I asked her what she wanted with it. She told 
me that there was a particular mass to be said on that day which relieved 
the souls in purgatory from ten thousand years of torment, and that she 
wished to secure the benefit of it for her mother. I asked her if she was 
fool enough to believe it. She answered, "Why, yes, sir; is it not true? " 
and with a countenance of as much surprise as if I had denied that the 
sun was shining. I have seen stuck up on the door of the Church of San 
Francisco, one of the largest and most magnificent in Mexico, an adver- 
tisement, of which the following was the substance : 

"His holiness the pope (and certain bishops which were named) have 
granted thirty-two thousand three hundred years, ten days, and six hours 
of indulgence for this mass." 

The manifest object of this particularity is to secure the more effect- 
ual belief in the imposture. By thus giving to it the air of a business 
transaction, a sort of contract between the devotee and the Almighty, 
by his authorized agent and vicegerent on earth, the pope, is estab- 
lished. I tremble at the apparent blasphemy of even describing these 
things.* 

Such indulgences are constantly seen, as advertisements on 
the church doors in Mexico, without any attempt at conceal- 
ment. These facts justify Father Gavazzi's assertion that " the 
dogma of purgatory became the true California of the priests, 
the best gold-mine of the papal system." 

The pictures of purgatory, provided to make the requisite 

impressions on those who have lost friends, are frightful. One 

of them, purchased in Mexico, lies before us. It represents a 

lady shut up in this miniature hell, surrounded by thick walls 

* Recollections of Mexico, p. 43 . 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 39 

and the window barred with heavy irons. On her wrists is fast- 
ened a yard of heavy chain, while the lurid flames rise round 
her to the height of her shoulders. In agony she lifts up her 
manacled hands as in imploring supplication to her living 
friends to furnish the aid that shall end her misery and deliver 
her from the place of torment. No wonder that such pictures, 
among ignorant people, do the work they were intended to ac- 
complish. Well did that vile peddler of such indulgences, 
sent out with full powers by Pope Leo X., in 1507, to dispose 
of them, know how to raise the requisite terror in the imagi- 
nation of the crowds that stood around him in Germany, then 
so ignorant and superstitious. But Roman greed outdid itself 
when God's agent, Martin Luther, entered the crowd and heard 
the audacious Tetzel finish his harangue with the words, " The 
very moment the money clicks on the bottom of this chest the 
soul escapes from purgatory and flies to heaven ! Bring your 
money, bring money, bring money ! " Luther was horrified 
with the profanation, and within a few days nailed up the ninety- 
five immortal theses on the doors of the Cathedral of Witten- 
berg, and the great Reformation was born. Our characteristic 
designation sprang from the protest of this honest monk. 
We are, and will remain, Pro-test-ants in the name of 
Almighty God, against all doctrines that cannot be deduced 
from his Holy Bible. 

But, alas for the Mexican people ! Denied the word of 
God, they have no way of ascertaining that the doctrine is of 
man's invention, a perversion of the Gospel, and a dishonor to 
the Redeemer's office. He is represented as interceding for the 
salvation of all who " come unto God by him." But if mul- 
titudes of them are in purgatory, as Romanism teaches, they 
are practically beyond his help. He can do nothing for them, 
as the pope alone holds the key. There they may remain for 
ages, unless they have left money for masses, or their friends 
supply the lack. " The power of the keys " — a phrase which 
they boastingly use — is only exerted where money furnishes the 
motive, so that it has been bitterly said of these conditions, 



40 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

" Where there is high money there is high mass, low money, 
low mass, and no money, no mass." 

One trembles on reflecting what will be the ultimate venge- 
ance of God upon a system that so daringly misrepresents 
his mercy and the sole efficacy of the sacrifice of his Son. 
Now being the " accepted time, and this the day of salvation," 
by " the precious blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all 
sin," this leaves nothing for purgatory or priest to cleanse after 
death, and its special honor is that it is offered to all, " with- 
out money and without price." A glorious Gospel for even the 
poorest sinner on earth. 

Many of the educated men of Mexico, disgusted with the 
manifestations of this money-getting system of Romanism, are 
infidels or free-thinkers, like the same class of men in France 
and Italy, while many of them who are not infidels cannot rec- 
oncile this doctrine of their Church with common sense or 
with the justice of God. Madame Calderon refers to a con- 
versation with one such after attending a " high mass " for the 
release of a mutual friend : 

C n received an invitation some time ago to attend the honras of the 

daughter of the Marquis of S a. M. was observing to-day that if 

this Catholic doctrine was firmly believed, and that the prayers of the 
Church are indeed availing to shorten the sufferings of those who have 
gone before us, to relieve those whom we love from thousands of years of 
torture, it is astonishing how the rich do not become poor and the poor 
beggars in furtherance of this object; and that if the idea be purely 
human it showed a wonderful knowledge of human nature on the part of 
the inventor, as what source of profit could be more sure? (P. 81.) 

Madame Calderon evidently sympathized with the idea pre- 
sented. How can men really believe as the priests of Rome 
profess to do and act so heartlessly ? Here is the pope, who 
upholds so strongly the belief in purgatory and in his own 
power of release from it, and yet only money can move him to 
open those dreadful doors and let out the sufferers. If this 
man truly believed in his doctrine and his power to meet the 
dreadful emergency of multitudes — of millions — shut up, as 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 41 

they declare, in fires " only a little less hot than hell itself," how 
could he rest day or night ? Should we not expect that his zeal 
would consume him in his efforts to issue indulgences and offer 
these releasing masses from early morning to late at night, not 
waiting for any other motive but the promptings of compassion 
alone, to free them daily by the thousands from their tortures? 
And would not the Mexican clergy, if they sincerely maintained 
this doctrine, instead of waiting for the low motive of money 
to arouse them, rush to the rescue and be on their altars from 
dawn to dark to relieve such sufferers, and especially the poor 
who have nothing with which to pay for their release ? 



42 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



CHAPTEK II. 

"Gross darkness " — Mariolatry of Mexico unique — Hostility of the two Virgins— * 
Their respective legends — Their fabulous wealth — General Thompson and 
Mrs. Gooch's testimony to this wild idolatry — The " cursed fools " of Guada- 
lupe — Opposite parts taken by these Virgins in the conflict for popular 
rights — Impossible titles and relations — The terrible climax at Puebla — 
Mexico's degradation fully accounted for here — Dates of dogmas. 

"We should, not do our subject justice if we failed to present 
to our readers one of their religious peculiarities, and perhaps 
the most awful of them all — for the extent to which it has de- 
based the nation. It is equally unscriptural and irrational with 
those already named, and amazes strangers who visit the land. 
Even Romanists, who come not merely from Protestant coun- 
tries, where religious competition has saved them from descend- 
ing to the sad depths in which they find, their Church in Mex- 
ico, but natives of Spain and Italy as well, are pained to be- 
hold what they witness here. Madame Calderon will be again 
our impartial guide. Here, too, we shall be conscious of that 
occasional quiet humor which she could not quite repress as the 
amazing stories were told her by bishops and others. Though 
a devoted Romanist, there was a revulsion in her intelligent 
mind as she witnessed these absurd and wicked idolatries of her 
Church in Mexico. Their splendor and costly decorations could 
not blind her as to their true character. We are referring to the 
practices of the Mariolatry, which has no parallel in any other 
land, and which has raised up two Virgins for the adoration o^ 
the Mexican people ! 

Madame Calderon tells the story of the first of these Yirgins 
as follows : 

"We went lately to pay a visit to the celebrated " Virgin de los Rerne- 
dios," the Spanish patroness and rival of "Our Lady of Guadalupe." 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 43 

This Virgin was brought over from Spain by the array of Cortez, and on 
the night of the Noche Triste the image disappeared, and nothing further 
was known of it, until, on the top of a barren mountain in the heart of 
a large maguey, it was found. Her restoration was joyfully hailed by the 
Spaniards. A church was erected on the spot. A priest was appointed 
to take charge of the miraculous image. Her fame spread abroad. 
Gifts of immense value were brought to her shrine. A treasurer was ap- 
pointed to take care of her jewels, a camarista (a keeper of robes) to 
superintend her rich wardrobe. No wealthy dowager died in peace until 
she had bequeathed to Our Lady of Remedies her largest diamond or her 
richest pearl. In seasons of drought she is brought in from her dwelling 
in the mountain and carried in procession through the streets. The 
viceroy himself on foot used to lead the holy train. One of the highest 
rank drives the chariot in which she is seated. In succession she visits 
the principal convents, and as she is carried through the cloistered pre- 
cincts the nuns are ranged on their knees in humble adoration. Plenti- 
ful rains immediately follow her arrival or pestilences are terminated. 
... It is true that there came a time when the famous curate Hidalgr 
the prime mover in the revolution, having taken as his standard an image 
of the Virgin of Guadalupe, an increased rivalry arose between her and 
the Spanish Virgin ; and Hidalgo being defeated and forced to fly, the 
image of the Virgin de los Remedios Avas conducted to Mexico dressed 
as a general and invoked as the patroness of Spain. . . . 

The church where she is enshrined is handsome, and above the altar is 
a copy of the original Virgin. After we had remained there a little while 
we were admitted into the sanctum, where the identical Virgin of Cortez, 
with a large silver maguey, occupies her splendid shrine. The priest 
retired and put on his robes, and then returning, and all kneeling before 
the altar, he recited the Credo. This over, he mounted the steps, and, 
opening the shrine where the Virgin was incased, knelt down and 
removed her in his arms. He then presented her to each one of us in 
succession, every one kissing the hem of her satin robe. She was after- 
ward replaced with the same ceremony. 

The image is a wooden doll about a foot high, holding in its arms an 
infant Jesus, botli faces evidently carved with a rude penknife, two holes 
for the eyes and another for the mouth. The doll was dressed in blue 
satin and pearls, with a crown upon her head, and a quantity of hair fast- 
ened onto the crown. No Indian idol could be much uglier. As she has 
been a good deal scratched and destroyed in the lapse of ages, C n ob- 
served that he was astonished that they had not tried to restore her a little. 
To this the padre replied that the attempt had been made by several artists, 
each one of whom had sickened and died. He also mentioned as one of 



44 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

her miracles that living on a solitary mountain she had never been robbed ; 
but I fear the good padre is somewhat oblivious, as this sacrilege has hap- 
pened more than once. On one occasion, a crowd of leperos (beggars) 
being collected, and the image carried round to be kissed, one of them, 
affecting intense devotion, bit off the large pearl that adorned her dress 
in front, and before the theft was discovered he had mingled with the 
crowd and escaped. When reminded of the circumstance the padre said 
it was true,'- but that the thief was a Frenchman ! (P. 120.) 

This ill-conditioned image has been for more than three 
centuries the special idol of the Spanish aristocracy in Mexico. 
She was served with great splendor, and was the owner of the 
famous petticoats valued at $3,000,000. Waddy Thompson 
describes one of her processions which he witnessed, " number- 
ing some forty to fifty thousand persons, including all the high 
dignitaries of the government, the Church, and the army," all 
professing to believe the priestly story that every attempt to 
repair the broken nose or to supply the lost eye " ended in the 
death of the daring sinner who would attempt to improve an 
image made in heaven." The Empress Carlota, on her arrival 
in Mexico in 1864, accepted this Virgin as her protectress, and 
resolved to serve her with an earnestness that would popularize 
her with the nation. Those who were present and saw her do 
it described to the writer how zealously she headed the proces- 
sion of Mexican ladies, she, as each of them, carrying an immense 
burning wax taper as they walked through the dusty streets of 
the capital in honor of this image. The poor lady evidently 
knew not all the facts involved in her action, or how much too 
late it was to restore the popularity that had been waning ever 
since the republican movements, which began in 1810, bringing 
to the front another idol — another Virgin Mary — instead of 
this one, formerly the popular image of Mexico. 

"We should say that the picture of this Virgin which we here 
present and which is the accepted type, brought from Mexico, 
rather flatters the original! The artist evidently did not fol- 
low copy in this case and give the world a faithful representation 
of the image which is so truly described as " rude and ugly." 
Of course one is expected to make allowance for a lady who not 




THE TIRGIN OF REMEDIOS, 

The Patroness of the Spaniards in Mexico. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 45 

only went through the vicissitudes and hard experiences of " the 
Conquest," but who in addition has added three hundred and 
fifty to her years of earthly life and shows now the effect of both ! 
In January, 1874, 1 paid a visit to this shrine to see and hear for 
myself what there was remaining of this once famous image. 
The church and its surroundings was a picture of desolation. 
The only power that could have restored its prestige and glory 
had been overthrown when the cause of Maximilian and Carlota 
had been crushed. She shared their fate. The church, once so 
resplendent, was shut up, but three or four poor people, who 
were hanging round in expectation of an occasional visitor, on 
seeing us approach started off to call the priest of the church. 
He soon appeared, the doors were opened, and after robing him- 
self he took down the image from her shrine with the usual 
large amount of formality and many genuflections, and pre- 
sented her to our view, and then lowered her near enough for us 
to kiss the hem of her garment, if so disposed, and seemed rather 
disappointed when we declined the honor. Our lack of service 
and reverence, however, was made up by the three or four 
beggars who had come in when we entered. They adoringly 
kissed the " sacred " margin of her petticoat and crossed them- 
selves. 

As we stood at that altar and contemplated this image our 
hearts went out in deep compassion to the misguided millions 
of Mexico who have been taught to trust in and worship such a 
rival of Almighty God as this is, and at the same time became 
conscious of a deeper feeling than we have ever felt before of 
the guilt of a clergy who could thus mislead their fellow-beings. 
This idolatry explained the poverty, ignorance, and degradation 
of the people. I asked the priest why the Virgin no longer 
went in grand processions to Mexico, as of old, and he sadly re- 
plied, " Ah, Senor, the Virgin of Remedios goes no more in pro- 
cessions until the 'Laws of Reform ' are repealed ! " All right. 
Then she will probably stay where she is, more and more de- 
serted, for the liberty-loving Mexicans are not likely to go back 
on their grand record of freedom. While the Mexicans are 



46 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

greatly to be pitied, we have no reason to suppose that we should 
have been in a better state had we for three hundred years been 
bearing the burdens they have carried. Give the United States 
to the absolute control of the same Church and the same kind 
of clergy, let them inculcate the same doctrines and practices, 
place the same restrictions on freedom of thought and the Bible, 
grant them an established Church and the parochial school sys- 
tem, with political corruption in national affairs, and what rea- 
son have we to suppose that in half the time they have thus 
wielded power in the land of the Aztecs, say one hundred 
and fifty years, we would not show an equal ruin and degrada- 
tion? 

Still, we have not completed our showing of the unique situ- 
ation in Mexico. The second image of the Virgin, which has 
figured as a bitter rival of this one, shall have her story pre- 
sented to us by Madame Calderon, who had the narration from 
the lips of the resident bishop, on the occasion of her visit to 
the grand shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, with all the 
surroundings of the gorgeous cathedral to impress her favor- 
ably. 

The " divine painting " of the Virgin of Guadalupe repre- 
sents her in a blue cloak covered with stars, a garment of 
crimson and gold, her hands clasped, and her foot on a crescent, 
supported by a cherub. The original painting is coarse, and 
only remarkable for the tradition attached to it. Madame 
Calderon's narrative is as follows : 

We went to call on the bishop, the Ylustrisimo Seiior Campos, whom 
we found in his canonicals, and who seems a good little old man, but 
no conjurer. . . . Folding his hands and looking down, he proceeded 
to recount the history of the miraculous apparition, pretty much as fol- 
lows: 

"In 1531, ten years and four months after the conquest of Mexico, a fort- 
unate Indian, whose name was Juan Diego, passing by the mountain of 
Tepeyac, a short distance south of Mexico city, the holy Virgin suddenly 
appeared before him and ordered him to go in her name to the bishop, 
the Ylustrisimo D. Fr. Juan de Zumarraga, and to make known to him 
that she desired to have a place of worship erected in her honor on that 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 47 

spot. The next day the Indian passed by the same place, when again the 
holy Virgin appeared before him and demanded the result of his commis- 
sion. Juau Diego replied that in spite of his endeavor he had not been 
able to obtain an audience of the bishop. 'Return,' said the Virgin, 
'and say that it is I, the Virgin Mary, mother of God, who sends thee.' 
Juan Diego obeyed the divine orders, yet still the bishop would not give 
him credence, merely desiring him to bring some sign or token of the 
Virgin's will. He returned with this message on the 12th of December, 
when, for the third time, he beheld the apparition of the Virgin. She now 
commanded him to climb to the top of the Darren rock of Tepeyac, to 
gather the roses which he should find there, and to bring them to her. 
The humble messenger obeyed, though well knowing that on that spot 
were neither flowers nor any trace of vegetation. Nevertheless, he found 
the roses, which he gathered and brought to the Virgin Mary, who, throw- 
ing them into his tilma [blanket], said, ' Return, show these to the bishop, 
and tell him that these are the credentials of thy mission.' Juan Diego 
set out for the episcopal residence, and when he found himself in the 
presence of the prelate he unfolded his tilma to show him the roses, 
when there appeared imprinted on it the miraculous image which has 
existed for more than three centuries. 

"When the bishop beheld it he was seized with astonishment and awe, 
and conveyed it in a solemn procession to his own oratory, and shortly 
after this splendid church was erected in honor of the patroness of New 
Spain. From all parts of the country," continued the old bishop, " people 
nocked in crowds to see our Lady of Guadalupe, and esteem it an honor 
to obtain sight of her. What must be my happiness, who can see her most 
gracious majesty every hour and every minute of the day? I would not 
quit Guadalupe for any other part of the world, nor for any temptation 
that could be held out to me ; " and the pious man remained for a few 
moments as if rapt in ecstasy.* 

The old bishop's account is borrowed, but in very much 
abridged form, from a printed sermon of Cardinal de Lorenzana, 
Archbishop of Mexico in 1760 ; and that sermon and descrip- 
tion, be it observed, is the general source from whence all writers 
take in presenting this legend, though its value as to veracity is 
brought much into question by the fact that the cardinal did 
not give the story to the world until two hundred and twenty- 
seven years after the events were said to have occurred ! Those 
who desire the fuller account of the legend will find it in 

* Life in Mexico, p. 60. 



48 MEXICO IX TRANSITION. 

Brantz Mayer's valuable work.* His account is taken from 
that printed by Ignatio Barillo y Perez. 

All persons visiting this now famous cathedral corroborate 
the account of the wealth and splendor which have been lav- 
ished on this shrine until the facts seem bewildering, and the 
extravagant ceremonial of her anniversary every December may 
well be reckoned among the amazing facts of this world, espe- 
cially considering the ponderous edifice that the clericals have 
ventured to build upon such a slender foundation as this story 
of the poor Indian peon and his blanket. Robertson describes 
the splendor of the scene which he witnessed on the anniversary. 
He says : 

The interior decorations of the church are sumptuous in the extreme. 
The altar at the north end, and the canopy and the pillars around it, are 
of the finest marbles. Above it, in a frame of solid gold, covered with a 
crystal plate, is the figure of the Virgin, painted on the Indian's tilma, 
presented in the picture on the opposite page here. On each side of the 
image, within the frame, and extending its whole length, are strips of 
gold literally crusted with emeralds, diamonds, and pearls. At the feet of 
the figure there are again large clusters of the same costly gems. From 
each side of the frame issues a circle of golden rays, while above it, as if 
floating in the air, hangs the figure of a dove of solid silver as large as a 
goose in size.t 

We here present this second Virgin of Mexico to our readers. 
This picture, gorgeously illuminated, of her whom they de- 
light to call " The Patron Saint and Protectress of Mexico " is 
found in nearly all the homes in the land, in every variety, from 
cheap engravings to costly paintings. With her devotees the 
greatest day in the whole year is the. 12th of December, the 
anniversary of her miraculous appearance, when the crowds 
come from all parts to witness the rites instituted in her honor. 
Until recently the whole pompous ceremonial was countenanced 
by the presence and apparent devotion of all the high officers 
of the government, including the president himself. In evi- 

* Mexico : Aztec, Sj)anish, and Rejmblican, in two volumes, Drake & Co., Hartford, 
vol. i, p. 256, etc. 

f A Visit to Mexico, by W. P. Robertson, vol, ii. London, 1853. 



tr 



M 



« 








. ^^ 



jut £>& vrmsmt t 6* 



iN-FECTT TAUTER OMNI ; m 1 (ONI 



THE VIRGIN OP GUADALUPE, 

The Patroness of the native Mexicans. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 49 

dence of this amazing folly notice the testimony of General 
Thompson. After describing the scene and its prodigality of 
wealth in honor of this idol of Mexico, he says : 

If the reader should ask, "Does any body believe this?" I answer, 
that on the anniversary of this miracle I went to the Church of Guada- 
lupe, where more than fifty thousand people were assembled, among 
them President Bravo and all his cabinet, the archbishop, and, in short, 
every body in high station in Mexico. An oration in commemoration of 
the event was delivered by a distinguished member of the Mexican Con- 
gress. He described all the circumstances of the affair as I have given 
them, but with all the extravagance of Mexican rhetoric, just as one of 
our Fourth of July orators would narrate the events of the Revolution. 
The president and others exchanged all the while smiles and glances of 
pride and exultation. Hf 

Eleven years later R. A. Wilson, of Rochester, visited Mex- 
ico and made a thorough examination of their ceremonies in this 
Gaudalupe cathedral. Two of his Sabbaths were given to the 
matter. He says : 

The State and the Church were duly represented upon the platform by 
the president [then Santa Anna], the nuncio, and the archbishop. Beneath 
the platform, and within the silver railing, were the official representatives 
of foreign nations, who were easily distinguished by a strip of gold or 
silver lace upon the collars and lapels of their coats. To this uniformity 
of dress there was a single exception in the person of the new American 
embassador, Mr. Gadsden, whose plain black dress and clerical appearance 
would have conveyed the impression that he was a Methodist preacher, 
had he not been engaged, with all the awkwardness of a novice, upon his 
knees in crossing himself. . . . On the next Sabbath I attended the 
Indian celebration of the appearance of "the most blessed Virgin." Dur- 
ing the Christmas holidays in the country of the Pintos I had seen Indians 
dressed up in whimsical attire, enacting plays, and singing and dancing ; 
but this was the first time that I had ever seen, in a house dedicated to 
the worship of God, or, rather, in a temple consecrated to the adoration 
of the Virgin, fantastic dances performed by Indians under the supervision 
of priests and bishops. "When I found out what the entertainment was 
I was heartily vexed that I should be at such a place on the Sabbath day. 
The dancing and singing were bad enough, but the climax was reached 
when the priest came down from the altar, with an array of attendants 

* Recollections of Mexico, p. 112. 



50 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

having immense candles, to the side-door, where the procession stopped 
to witness the discharge at midday of a large amount of fire-works in 
honor of the Virgin Mary. 

I hurried home from this profanation of the Lord's day, and sat 
down and comtemplated the old Aztec god, who had been deified for his 
wisdom, and could not but regret the change that had been imposed 
upon these Indians. The next Sabbath after this was the national anni- 
versary of the miraculous apparition; but having seen enough of this sort 
of thing I concluded that my Sabbath would be better spent in staying 
at home and reading a Spanish Testament, which had been brought into 
the country in violation of the law. When I was first at the city of 
Mexico, Governor Letcher related to me the stratagem by which he con- 
trived to smuggle an American Bible agent out of the country when the 
police were after him, on an accusation of selling prohibited books ; for 
in such a country as this the word of God is a prohibited book.* 

One is surprised that so competent an observer as Madame 
Calderon is so deficient in her account of the services at Guada- 
lupe. It could not be for lack of opportunity, for she remained 
in Mexico for more than two years, and must have seen it all, 
especially at the time of the great festivals. Her silence, to 
us, can be accounted for in two ways — either the fact of her 
Spanish interests leading her to sympathize rather with the 
Virgin of Remedies, or else she had witnessed the scenes at 
Guadalupe and had been so grieved that she was unwilling to 
describe them. 

A recent witness, Mrs. F. C. Gooch, describes the occurrences 
in 1887. A change for the better has certainly come at Gua- 
dalupe, especially in the entire withdrawal of government pat- 
ronage ; yet these observations evidence that enough remains 
of these manifestations of folly and profanity in the name of 
religion to grieve the heart of every intelligent Romanist who 
visits Mexico. She writes : 

A party of Americans, of which I was one, with a few Mexicans, went 
to Guadalupe the night before the grand fiesta was to take place. To 
adequately describe the scene would require the pen of a Dickens. The 
poor, the lame, the halt, and the blind had been there congregated as well 
as the hale and the hearty. The babel of voices, the songs of the Indians, 

* Mexico and its Religion, p. 230, by R, A. Wilson. Harper & Co., 1856. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 51 

the fire-crackers and sky-rockets, suggested to us, instead of a religious 
congregation, rather a di-moniacal pandemonium. Gambling was in full 
force. . . . The air was filled with an indiscriminate jangle of un- 
earthly sounds, from a variety of very earthly instruments, which, with 
the dust, the odor of the meat cooking, and the fumes from the crowd, 
made us hurry along to the chapel on the hill, where a treat was in store 
for us. The Indians from the fastnesses of the Sierras, in the far north, 
were to dance in their peculiar costumes. 

Animated by insatiable curiosity, and anxious to witness the entire cer- 
emonials, I pressed through the crowd of poor people to the inner circle. 
What a scene ! The wildest, most fantastically decked beings that mor- 
tal eye ever beheld were in the inner space, . . . Then the dance! 
They formed circles, the men on the outer circle and the women on the 
first inner circle, and again other circles of the younger Indians of both 
sexes, forming one within the other. The everlasting jangle and trum- 
trum of the ghastly jarana covered with the skin of an armadillo, looking 
like an exhumed skeleton, with the finery of flaunting ribbons floating 
around it, its harsh notes mingling with the drowning wail of the wild 
musician who played as though in a frenzy, were in keeping with the 
whole scene. ... It was the wildest, most mournful dance that 
mortal could invent; and it seemed as if the souls of the devotees were 
in the movement. It was a sort of paroxysm of physical devotion, and 
seemed to exhaust its votaries. 

Having concluded the dance to the honor and glory of Guadalupe, they 
filed into the church chanting a low, monotonous hymn. I was the first to 
enter after them, followed closely by my friends. When they reached 
the altar, where a large picture of the Virgin was suspended, all dropped 
on their knees in regular lines of fours, and began crossing themselves and 
murmuring their paternosters. 

The man who played on the jarana recited prayers, the others respond- 
ing. After this they sang a litany, accompanied by low, moaning sounds, 
as if in anguish of spirit, while every eye was fixed steadily upon the pa- 
tron saint in mute appeal, and tears streamed down their bronzed and 
hardened faces. 

After half an hour thus spent upon their knees they arose, and still 
accompanied by the strange music from the ghastly instrument, that 
seemed to have taken on a more unearthly character, moved backward, 
making a low courtesy at each step, and as they filed out sang in chorus in 
their strange tongue : 

" From heaven she descended, 
Triumphant and glorious, 
To favor us — 
La Guadalupana. 
6 



52 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

" Farewell, Guadalupe ! 
Queen of the Indians ! 
Our life is thine, 
This kingdom is thine." 

When they withdrew from the church, our party following closely, the 
dancing was renewed with added fervor. But before we had gone down 
ten of the almost countless steps, one of the most picturesquely attired of 
all the Indians was walking by my side, making a bargain with me for the 
sale of his crown and feathers ! 

"While the scene I had just witnessed had at times an effect to excite 
merriment the contrary feeling of sadness and almost reverence prevailed. 
I could not but feel awe in the presence of those dark children of the wild 
mountains as they performed their mystical devotions and sang the rude 
barbaric songs that had in their tones the strangeness of another world.* 

All this heathenism in the house of God ! More Aztec by 
far than Christian ; for, save the person supposed to be repre- 
sented on the " blanket " within the golden frame, there is not 
one Christian idea about the whole service. Yet these occasions 
are regarded as the most meritorious of the year in Mexico. 
The scene, taken altogether, is matchless on the earth. A vast 
multitude of people, all bent on these wild, idolatrous practices ; 
the sales of the sacred medals, ribbons, scapulars, and other de- 
vices ; the crowd around the sacred well struggling for a share 
of the " holy " water, to carry to their distant homes, while the 
women and boys push vigorously the sale of the tickets for the 
lottery. One asks, " Is it possible that this scene is authorized 
by the Roman Catholic Church ? " It is, all authorized. Look 
into the center of that crowd at the church door and see. A busy 
man stands behind a table selling bright medals, which are oblong 
in shape, and about an inch and a half long. On one side is 
the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, with the inscription, 
" N". S. .D. Guadalupe de Mexico ; " on the obverse, " Ison 
fecit taliter omni nationi." Each is delivered to the purchaser 
wrapped in a little piece of printed paper, on which you read : 

Our most holy father, the sovereign Pope Pius VI., by his brief of the 
13th of April, 1785, has conceded plenary indulgence in the hour of death 

* Face to Face with the Mexicans, by F. C. Gooch, p. 257. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 53 

to all those who shall then have upon them one of the medals of Our Lady 
of Guadalupe, which, ready blest, are sold in her sanctuary.* 

So the highest authority in the Church of Rome has indorsed 
all this perversion of Christianity, and even professes to carry 
its supposed benefits through death into eternity ! The poor, 
misguided people accept the assurance of their pontiff and vent- 
ure their soul's welfare upon the possession of the medal ! 

They also furnish a document to show that this " miraculous 
appearance of the mother of God upon earth," the year and 
at the place aforesaid, was proved before the Congregation of 
Rites at Rome. And Benedict XIV. was so fully persuaded 
of the truth of the tradition that he made 

cordial devotion to our Lady of Guadalupe, conceded the proper mass 
and ritual of devotion. He also made mention of it in the lesson of the 
second nocturnal, . . . declaring from the high throne of the Vatican 
that Mary, most holy, non fecit taliter omni nationi. 

All this resting upon the slender foundation of the story of 
an Indian peon, " though, like many of his race, he was prob- 
ably an habitual liar, yet when he bears testimony to a miracle 
he is presumed to speak the truth.f " Those who have examined 
the "miraculous" picture closely are very doubtful of the 
" blanket " part of it. Mr. W. E. Curtis, in 1888, while on a 
mission from our government, carefully examined the matter, 
and gives his conclusion : 

According to the story, the portrait is stamped upon the serape or blan- 
ket of the shepherd, and this Catholics in Mexico devoutly believe. But 
a close examination reveals the fact that it is done in ordinary oil colors 
upon a piece of ordinary canvas, and that the pigments peel off like those 
of any poorly executed piece of work. J 

This testimony is confirmed by Colonel Evans in Our Sister 
Republic, p. 349. 

General Thompson was one clay looking at this picture in 
company with a Mexican friend, and directing his attention to 

* See A Visit to Mexico, Robertson, vol. ii, p. 154. 

f Wilson's Mexico, pp. 231, 232. \ The Capitals of Spanish America, p. 21. 



54 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

the Latin sentence, Non fecit taliter omni nationi, which is no 
doubt quoted from the Vulgate of Psalm cxlvii, 20, where the 
psalmist is exulting in the distinguishing favors which the Lord 
Jehovah had conferred upon Israel, saying, " He hath not dealt 
so with any nation." Unaware that he was putting a question 
to his friend which intelligent Mexicans are reluctant to answer 
to a foreigner, he asked the meaning of the words, whereupon 
his friend promptly replied that it meant, " She had never 
made such cursed fools of any other people ! " 

The gentleman's exposition may pass unchallenged, though 
its utterance a few years earlier might have sent him to the 
Inquisition ; for there is no worse degradation than is here ex- 
hibited, which this dreadful departure from primitive Chris- 
tianity has entailed upon this people for generations. 

So far as we can trace back the origin of this legend we re- 
member that the conquistadores found it impossible to complete 
the catholicizing of Mexico by force and cruelty. They found 
it equally difficult to attract the conquered natives to the wor- 
ship of the Spanish Virgin Mary, whose image and pictures 
they sought to induce the Aztecs to accept and set np in their 
homes for worship. The conquered people could not forget 
that the figure of this Spanish Virgin was borne on the stand- 
ards of their victorious oppressors, and aided, as they supposed, 
in their enslavement. This foreign goddess they therefore 
rejected, unless when compelled to worship her. Their own 
temples and idols had all been destroyed, and they longed for 
something to trust in and adore. So, a new policy to meet the 
case had to be thought out, and erelong the idea was conceived 
of a native Virgin Mary — not Spanish but Mexican — manifest- 
ing herself as such to the Aztec race as their own Virgin and pa- 
troness. It was not hard to find a suitable tool with which to try 
the experiment, and Juan Diego, being well backed up, worked 
out the problem successfully. It did not seem to give the con- 
spirators who invented this new Virgin Mary much considera- 
tion that the two ladies must necessarily be rivals and the whole 
affair become ridiculous in its results. It was enough for them 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 55 

that the Spaniards could worship one Virgin Mary and the Aztecs 
worship the other, each with the services and rites which they 
preferred, and all would go conveniently. 

Wealth remained with the Spanish Virgin for a long time, 
but the one of Guadalupe had the crowds, and their devotion 
led them to emulate the liberality of the other party and in time 
to exceed it, though in doing so they made their own impover- 
ishment perpetual, so that every stranger visiting the land is 
amazed at the incongruity of the poverty of the worshipers 
and the wealth and splendor of the services. 

"When the great struggle for deliverance from the Spanish 
yoke culminated in the effort for independence led by Hidalgo, 
in 1810, the patriot priest saw that he could rally the oppressed 
native races best by putting the image of the Virgin of Gua- 
dalupe on his flag of freedom. The Spaniards met this by 
painting the image of the Virgin of Remedios on their flag. 
Under this leading the conflict was fought out most bitterly for 
twelve years, when the native blood and determination proved 
the stronger, and " Nuestra Sefiora de los Remedios," used by 
the Spaniards as their war-cry, was silenced, and herself and 
shrine sunk into disregard, deserted by all save the few Spanish 
families that remain and still adhere to her. Iturbide, when, in 
1822, he joined the party of freedom as the leader of the Creole 
class, was wise enough to discern that with the " Guadalupana" 
— as the Spanish aristocracy designate the " Indian Virgin " — 
was the best prospect of victory, and he thus united a con- 
siderable section of the wealth and intelligence of the cities 
with the cause represented by the Virgin of Guadalupe. The 
failure of the French intervention and overthrow of Maximil- 
ian's empire, as already intimated, extinguished the last hope of 
the partisans of the Virgin of Remedios for her recovery of 
her former glory and influence. 

During the years of the dreadful conflict waged by the dev- 
otees of their two Virgins it is almost amusing to contemplate 
how much and how earnestly these two ridiculous dolls were 
regarded and treated as real personages, whose active influence 



56 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

was looked for to crown the cause of their respective devotees 
with the victory which they implored. On one occasion, when 
the republican cause seemed to be getting the worst of it, the 
fact was attributed to the presence and favor of the Virgin of 
Remedios, and her expulsion from Mexico was therefore re- 
solved upon. The general-in-chief made out her passport in 
due form, and is said to have gone with some of his staff to her 
shrine, where lie tore the general's scarf, which she wore, from 
her waist, and, delivering her passport to the attendant priests, 
ordered her immediate expulsion from Mexico ! This order 
her devotees, however, found means to avoid, and she remained. 
After peace was won and the republic established it was 
deemed necessary to end the disgraceful squabbles and liability 
of conflict between the partisans of the two Yirgins by for- 
bidding either party to take their favorite in public processions 
through the streets. The " Laws of Reform " made this ex- 
cellent rule perpetual. 

The utter absurdity of this condition of things in religion, 
running on through the centuries, was endured by the dis- 
tracted nation without either party seeming to realize how 
unworthy of reason and common sense was the pretension to 
divine authority in either case. We are here reminded of Ma- 
dame Calderon's excuse for some scenes not very unlike these 
which she describes, probably the only one she, as a Roman 
Catholic, could offer : " However childish and superstitious all 
this may seem, I doubt whether it may not be as well thus to 
impress certain religious truths on the minds of a people too 
ignorant to understand them by any other process" (p. 108). 
This is a poor explanation to offer for a wealthy Church which 
had these millions in her power for three centuries, and whose 
first duty it was to cure them of their "ignorance " and " super- 
stition " and to elevate them in sacred knowledge and morality. 
Alas, what a failure is Romanism in Mexico ! Over this wide 
world Protestant mission work needs no excuses, nor has it any- 
where any such failures to answer for. Its converts are a 
credit to it, no matter how brief the period it has had them 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 57 

under training. Where it Las had them for even a fourth part 
of the time above mentioned they have become a self-support- 
ing, intelligent, and missionary Christianity, an honor and a 
blessing to the lands whose highest positions some of them are 
to-day filling. 

Before leaving the subject it is our painful duty to ask the 
reader's attention to one more aspect of the utterly unwarranted 
idolatrous extravagance of doctrine which this Church built 
up on the ruins of Aztec heathenism. Those who only know 
Romanism as they see it in the United States or in England — 
for there it is astute and careful — can have little idea of the 
practices which that Church has encouraged in Mexico. Not 
only has she failed to give them the Gospel of Christ, but she 
presented them with "another gospel," in the sense which St. 
Paul so plainly condemns. 

We are conscious of the seriousness of the words which we 
now use, but the painful evidence is too abundant to be over- 
looked. We will present only a very few out of the many 
samples, each from their own acknowledged authorities, to 
justify the charge which Protestantism brings against the 
terrible departure from the teachings of revealed religion. 
These errors center around the person of the mother of our 
Lord, who has by them been exalted out of the sphere which 
she occupies in the evangelical narrative, clothed with divine 
attributes and made the supreme object of human trust 
in the matter of salvation. All this without any warrant 
from the word of God, and in defiance of its spirit and 
teaching. 

Let us take a few of the titles which Mexicans have been 
taught to employ in common with their co-religionists elsewhere 
before introducing what is special in the teaching of the hier- 
archy of Mexico. One of these is that the Yirgin Mary is 
" the mother of God ; " and because evangelical Christians object 
to such a title being applied to any creature, and being in 
strict language impossible in itself, the Romish clergy there bit- 
terly misrepresent us and our teaching and try to raise the 



58 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

hatred of their fanatical followers against us as " revilers of the 
Virgin Mary." 

A human creature " the mother of God " is an utter im- 
possibility. The stream cannot rise higher than its source. She 
became, as the Scriptures call her, " the mother of Jesus," who 
derived his manhood from her, but not his godhead. That god- 
head existed in all its perfection a whole eternity before the 
Virgin Mary was born, and therefore could not be born of her 
in time. She gave him all she had to give, her humanity, 
and that was all that her mission called for. " The man Christ 
Jesus " was her child, and to this humanity the divine and eter- 
nal Son of God united himself and became " Emmanuel " by 
the unity, and was thus qualified to become the atoning Saviour 
of the human race. 

Another of those titles invented to lend color to the claim 
which they have set up to invest her with superhuman attri- 
butes and give her a title to divine honors is that of "the 
divinized mother of God."* Concerning this pure and honored 
woman no one knows any thing beyond what is written in the 
four gospels and Acts of the Apostles, because her name is not 
once mentioned in any of the epistles, while the five apostolic 
fathers of the first century after Christ say nothing about her 
save what is given as above. " Mary, of whom was born Jesus, 
who is called Christ" (Matt, i, 16), is the opening of the sim- 
ple and beautiful record. Now let us put by the side of this 
the amazing and awful designations invented by Romanism to 
prove her to be " divinized," and as such the object of human 
trust and adoration. 

The announcement of the new doctrine of "the Immaculate 
Conception " of the Virgin Mary, in December, 1854, by 
Pope Pius IX., revised the shocking profanity of the rosary 
of " the Blessed St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin, and 
Grandmother of God Almighty ! " f All this blasphemous 
language is recklessly employed to commend " the divinized 
mother of God" to the adoration of her worshipers, while 

* Christian World, vol. xiv, p. 254. \ Ibid., vol. vi, p. 163. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 59 

true Christians grieve and infidels mock at such impossible 
assumptions. 

Still another of these unauthorized titles adopted for this 
humble woman is that of " Queen of Heaven." As such she 
is represented in their picture on page 44, crowned with the 
infant Saviour in her arms. There is nothing to justify this 
picture ; it is manifestly false to the facts. Mary was the wife of 
a poor carpenter in a humble home, and the bauble of a crown 
never rested upon her brow. If answered that the picture rep- 
resents her as she appears in heaven, that view of it is equally 
false, for it is impossible for her to appear as this represents in 
the eternal world, where Christ sits — not in her lap or in her 
arms, but " on the right hand of the Majesty on high." 

There seems something very unworthy in this constant at- 
tempt to keep Jesus in his babyhood before the minds of 
Roman Catholic people. It minifies him, and eclipses the true 
glory of his immortal manhood and priestly functions by thus 
exalting his mother's patronage and power over him, notwith- 
standing that eighteen hundred years have passed since she had 
the opportunity of such responsibility. 

Pius IX. took special delight in thus exalting the Yirgin 
Mary. He says in his encyclical letter to the bishops of the 
Catholic world, December, 1864, that the Yirgin Mary, " who, 
sitting as a queen upon the right hand of her Son, our Lord 
Jesus Christ, in a golden vestment, shining with various 
adornments, knows nothing which she cannot obtain from the 
sovereign Master." * 

The old gentleman does not condescend to inform the 
world by what authority he states this as to her position, the 
dress she wears, and the ornaments with which she is decorated. 
His word is to be accepted without question. lie knows, how- 
ever, no more about these things than the humblest person who 
reads his pompous encyclical. Her spirit, no doubt, is before 
the throne, waiting, like all the true saints, for the glorious 
resurrection of the dead. And yet in this false and unwarranted 

* Christian World, vol. xvi, p. 200. 



60 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

teaching she is represented as embodied clothed in cloth of 
gold, wearing a crown and exercising her mediation for sinners 
here on earth as the great " Queen of Heaven." But heaven 
has no queen. The term is drawn from the Sabian idolatry? 
and as such is denounced and condemned by Almighty God in 
Jeremiah yii, 18, and xliv, 17. 

The two most popular boohs of devotion which they use are 
The Litany of the Dolorous Virgin Mary, prepared by Pope 
Pius YII., and The Glories of Mary, by Ligouri. These books 
contain ascriptions to the Yirgin of nearly every attribute of 
Almighty God ; but the climax is reached where she is repre- 
sented as having by the act of the divine Father superseded the 
adorable Saviour as being more tender-hearted toward the sinner 
than he can be ! It is expressly taught in these books of their 
devotions that " the Lord Christ has assumed the administration 
of justice and punishment " toward men " and resigned to her the 
functions of grace and mercy ! " So the poor, misguided souls 
are taught to transfer their appeals and hopes to her in such 
prayers as these : " O Mary, we poor sinners know no refuge but 
thee. Thou art our only hope. To thee we intrust our salva- 
tion " (p. 130). This shocking inversion of the Gospel is then 
wound up in a grand doxology, putting her on a par with the 
adorable Trinity, at which I tremble as I copy it : 

I salute thee, O Great Mediatrix of peace between men and God; O 
Mother of Jesus our Lord, the love of all men and of God : to thee he honor 
and blessing with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. Amen. * 

"With assumptions and ascriptions like these Pius IX. carried 
his point and gave forth to the world, on the 8th of December, 
1854, as an article of faith henceforth " necessary to salvation," 
his dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. 
In his missive he tells Christendom that he did this 

with a particular filial devotion and with our whole heart, to adore the 
blessed Virgin and to promote all that tended to her praise and glory, and 
whereby her worship might be more and more extended.f 

* The Glories of Man/, by Ligouri, and Christian World, vol. xsi, p. 10. 
f Christian World, vol. vi, pp. 212, 213. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 61 

One might suppose that the widest departure from the Bible 
and apostolic Christianity had been reached when the above 
were written, but there was one step more that might be taken, 
and Catholicism in Mexico has not shrunk from taking it. We 
now, with a heavy heart, present this additional evidence of the 
peculiar Mariolatry for the invention of which the Church has 
incurred such a fearful accountability to the Holy Trinity, as 
well as to the judgment of the Christian world, whose sen- 
sibilities have been shocked as the facts became known that 
Romanists in Mexico have dared to adopt such language on such 
a subject. To be cautious to the fullest degree, I have had the 
inscription carefully copied from the tablet on the immense 
" reja," or iron screen, of the third chapel on the left as one 
enters the great cathedral in the city of Puebla. This is, next 
to the cathedral in the city of Mexico, regarded as the most im- 
posing church on this continent. The tablet hangs in front of 
the Chapel of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and the inscription 
is in the form of a prayer to her. We give first the original 
Spanish and then the translation : 

Oracion. 
Vfrgen santisima de Guadalupe, admirable Hija de Dios Padre, Madre 
de Dios Hijo, y Esposa de Dios Espfritu Santo, Senora mia consagrada, 
primero santiflcada que creada, suplicote Patrona y Sefiora mia, que si en 
este dia, en este instante, en esta liora, 6 en lo restante de mi vida, d en la 
muerte, contra mi 6 contra cosa mfa alguna senteucia fuere dada. sea por 
vuestra intercesion revocada, y por mano de tu Hijo nuestro Senor Jesu- 
cristo sea perdonada. Amen, Jestis. 

The translation is as follows : 

Prayer. 
Most holy Virgin of Guadalupe, glorious daughter of God the Father, 
mother of God the Son, and wife of God the Holy Spirit, my Lady conse- 
crated and sanctified before thou wast created: I pray thee, my patron 
saint and Lady, that if to-day, if this moment, if this hour, or if during the 
remainder of my life, or in death, any sentence should be passed against me 
or against any thing of mine, it may by thy intercession be revoked, and by 
the hand of thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ be turned aside. Amen, Jesus. 



62 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

This awful language is not a thing allowed in the past times 
of ignorance only ; but in the recent issue of the JVovena, or 
manual for nine days' prayer to the Virgin of Guadalupe, au- 
thorized by the members of the " Chapter of Holy Mary of 
Guadalupe," in 1885, and printed by J. J. Little & Co., New 
York, the same expressions are found on the eleventh page, 
ending with these words : 

The Holy Spirit also has made thee the dispenser of all his gifts and 
graces. All the three divine persons concurred to crown thee at thy glo- 
rious ascension to the heavens, and then there was conferred upon thee 
ahsolute power over all created in heaven and on earth. 

How heart-sickening to think that these extracts and that 
doxology are sanctioned by highest authority in the Roman 
Church ! No wonder that the millions of Mexicans have failed 
to find their Saviour, and that their services have degenerated 
into the heathenish spectacles such as we have presented. 

Thoughtful students of history, as they note the difference 
between nations, are impressed by the fact that wherever image- 
worship is met, there ignorance, degradation, and wretchedness 
abound. There is an adequate cause for this that can only be 
accounted for by the recognition that there exists an all-power- 
ful Being whose decalogue is the supreme law of this world. 
The Almighty avows his position and purposes toward the vio- 
lators of his holy law as expressed in the second commandment, 
who, making any " graven image, or any likeness of any thing 
in heaven above, or on the earth beneath," do " bow down to 
it, or serve it." The reason is given why he punishes this fear- 
ful sin not merely with individual but with national judg- 
ments : " For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting 
the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third 
and fourth generation of them that hate me ; and showing 
mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my com- 
mandments." 

No wonder the Romish priests fear to let their people 
" search the Scriptures ; " no wonder that they exclude the 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 63 

second commandment from many of their catechisms and 
nearly all their books of devotion. But it is a wonder that 
they do not realize the fearful responsibility which they 
assume in so doing, nor the account that they may yet have to 
render to God and to their people for having done so. 

Keeping close, as we Protestants do, to the Bible teachings, 
and ready at any hour to have our opinions brought to the test 
of the word of God, it is unjust to call us " heretics." Con- 
trast our position with the fluctuations and theological novel- 
ties of the following list of dates of the doctrines now held by 
the Roman Church, not one of which is in the Bible, nor can 
be proved thereby, but several of which we have shown here to 
be contrary to its teaching, and it will be easy to decide who are 
the " heretics." 

DATES OF ROMISH DOGMAS. 

The Church of Borne claims to be apostolic, immutable, and 
infallible. The following table will show how far this is from 
being true : 

Prayer for the dead began a. d. 200 

Worship of saints, martyrs, and angels 350 

Worship of the Virgin Mary was developed about 431 

"Worship in an unknown tongue 600 

Papal supremacy 606 

Worship of images and relics imposed 788 

Obligatory celibacy of the priests 1000 

Infallibility of the Church 1076 

Sale of indulgences 1190 

The dogma of transubstantiation officially decreed 1215 

Auricular confession officially imposed 1215 

The cup kept back from the laity officially sanctioned. . . . 1415 

Purgatory officially recognized 1439 

Romish tradition put on a level with the Scriptures 1540 

Worship of the Virgin of Guadalupe sanctioned by the pope. 1785 

The Immaculate Conception proclaimed 1854 

The pope's temporal power proclaimed 1864 

Papal infallibility proclaimed 1870 

The last pope made the belief in the three items which he 
proclaimed a necessary condition of grace and salvation. 



64 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



CHAPTEK III. 

From darkness to dawn through conflict and suffering — Spanish rule — Viceroys 
— " Patriarch of Mexican Independence " — His " Grito " and helpers — The 
Bravos — Odds against freedom — Iturbide and coronation — Unfortunate re- 
turn — Monroe doctrine — Texan war and its object — McNamara and " Meth- 
odist wolves" — General Fremont — "War with United States — Treachery 
at Cherubusco — The hand of God — Hidden refuge for Bible study in the 
Canadas. 

From the year 1535 until the year 1821, when Mexico obtained 
her independence, the country was governed by sixty-one vice- 
roys appointed by the Spanish crown. Their term of service 
extended over a period of two hundred and eighty-six years, 
giving to each viceroy an average of more than four years. 
Among these Spanish rulers there was occasionally found one of 
benevolent disposition and liberal ideas. But it must be con- 
ceded that in the main the Spanish rule in New Spain was one 
of iron despotism, in which priest and soldier bore an equal part, 
until several millions of human beings, the constitutional ele- 
ments of whose character were gentleness and docility, rose 
against their oppressors with the determination of driving 
them from the land. 

The Spaniards had acted so domineeringly in the exercise of 
their absolute rule, and in the monopoly of all places of trust and 
power, that they oppressed and insulted the native Mexicans until 
positive hatred was the result. Not only so, but they had also 
made the public service so close that even the " Creole " class 
were by law excluded from any participation in it. The Cre- 
oles were descendants of the Spaniards, members of their own 
families ; but under the rule that no country-born person should 
be allowed to participate in the government of the colonies in 
the slightest degree they were made to feel the inferiority of 
their birth. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 65 

The legislation prepared in Spain for the government of these 
" colonies of the crown " was equally exclusive and oppressive, 
though New Spain was a hundred times larger than Old Spain, 
and far more populous ; yet at every point the laws were made 
to discriminate against the former, to the extent that the mul- 
berry-tree or the silk-worm were not allowed to be cultivated, 
nor the vine grown (though both so genial to the soil). 
Mexico 'must purchase her wine and her silk of the mother- 
country or do without them, nor could her poor raise and sell 
them elsewhere and so assist themselves to this extent by their 
industry. 

The Spaniards were, in many cases, non-resident, living in 
Spain on the incomes remitted from their Mexican estates, and 
the rest occupying their high positions in the capital and lead- 
ing points of the country. The Creoles numbered several hundred 
thousand. The Roman Church stood with the Spaniards, with 
all her influence and wealth, as against the popular wishes, save 
in those very few cases where some of the humble clergy (bet- 
ter than their system) ventured to sympathize with their poor 
people in the heavy burdens which they endured. Early in 
this century a movement had begun with the Creole class to have 
the Spaniards share with them political rights, and in this desire 
the then viceroy, Iturrigaray, was disposed to concur, in the in- 
terest of peace, if not of justice. It was a great blow aimed at 
caste after nearly three hundred years of monopoly ! But this 
kind concession cost the viceroy his position. He was re- 
moved, and the Archbishop of. Mexico was placed in power, 
until a new viceroy, of a sterner kind, was sent from Spain. 

The French Re volution and the changes made by the move- 
ments of Napoleon L, including the removal of the Bourbons 
from the throne of Spain, reduced the prestige of the Spanish 
rule in Mexico and seriously lessened the power of the viceroys. 
This was intensified when the emperor placed his brother on the 
Spanish throne, thus giving a heavy shock to the doctrine of 
the " divine right of kings," and the immutability of estab- 
lished order, and raising hopes that changes in the interests of 



66 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

liberty and right were to be expected and welcomed, and, if need 
be, fought for, by those who appreciated the sentiment, " Who 
would be free himself must strike the blow ! " The spirit of 
liberty became infectious, and was strengthened by the Consti- 
tution granted by the new Cortes of Spain in 1812, which 
abolished the Inquisition and gave to Mexico more freedom than 
she had known since the Conquest. The viceroy was a cruel 
absolutist, and had no heart to welcome the beneficent *change, 
and longed for its overthrow. The fall of Napoleon was fol- 
lowed by the removal of his brother and the change of the 
liberal regimen in Spain. Ferdinand VII., who was restored to 
the throne by the policy of the " Allied Powers," who met in 
Paris to reconstruct the map of Europe, was one of the 
most despotic of the Bourbons. He abolished the Constitution, 
restored the Inquisition, and absolute government once more 
oppressed the inhabitants of the Spanish peninsula. Stern 
orders were sent to withdraw all that had been conceded to the 
people of Mexico. Fearing the progress of the liberal ideas in 
that country as well as in the South American colonies, Ferdi- 
nand was intending to dispatch a fleet and army to bring the 
Mexico and South American colonies into submission. Before 
it was ready to sail the discovery was made that many of the 
officers had become infected with "this new fever of liberty," 
and even dared to express their displeasure at the service de- 
manded of them, and were, indeed, more likely to lead the revolt 
in Mexico than to suppress it. None others could take their 
places, and Ferdinand and his clerical sympathizers were openly 
criticised for their despotic plans till, alarmed for the stability 
of his throne, the Constitution was restored and the hostile 
expedition to Mexico abandoned. 

Next to personal redemption, that in which man most needs 
the intervention of Almighty God is in his aspirations for jus- 
tice and freedom. Of these it is true that " every good gift, 
and every perfect gift, is from above." The apostles of liberty, 
as those of religion, are messengers of God, the author of liberty. 
The martyrs of both are under his vindication, accepting their 




-n 



MIGUEL HIDALGO, 

The " Patriarch of Mexican Independence." 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 67 

work and crowning their efforts witli success. So that in this 
sense also we hold that 

"The proper place for man to die 
Is where he dies for man;" 

or, better still, as they sang so enthusiastically during our civil 

war: 

"As He died to make men holy, 
Let us die to make them free ! " 

The honored men who laid the foundations of our republic, 
and the devoted man who dared to abolish slavery forever within 
our borders, appealed to the " considerate judgment of man- 
kind and the gracious favor of Almighty God" for the rectitude 
of their intentions and the successful prosecution of the work 
before them. So also in Mexico the divine Spirit raised up de- 
voted men who dared to face danger and death to secure the 
" good gift " of freedom for the millions around them. "We 
have no doubt, when the facts are fairly stated, generous Ameri- 
cans will admit that these are as worthy as any to be held in 
" everlasting remembrance." 

We now present to our readers the head of this illustrious line, 
Hidalgo, whom the Mexicans so delight to honor. He is called 
" The Liberator of Mexico," " The first Governor of Mexico by 
the National Will ; " and " The Patriarch of Mexican Independ- 
ence." Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was born on the 8th of May, 
1753, received a liberal education, entered the Roman Cath- 
olic priesthood, and at the time of his great effort was curate 
in the town of Dolores, in the State of Guanajuato. He was 
fully devoted to the welfare of his parishioners. Among other 
things he taught them the culture of the vine and the silk-worm, 
the making of porcelain and other small industries, by which 
their temporal condition began to improve. Although the spirit 
of freedom was in the air in 1810, and some relaxation of the 
cruel prohibitions of Spain against Mexico might have been 
taken for granted, these humble efforts of the kind-hearted cu- 
rate were disapproved at head-quarters as a daring innovation 



68 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

not to be tolerated. The viceroy gave orders for the destruc- 
tion of the industries, and there was some talk of passing over 
Hidalgo to the Inquisition, where his notions might be inquired 
into, for he was known to entertain liberal views. 

When the agents of the viceroy reached Dolores, and 
Hidalgo saw with indignant sorrow all that he had accom- 
plished for his people destroyed, the vines rooted np, the mul- 
berry trees cut down, and the other works overthrown, the tyr- 
annous act incensed him and his people, as it also aroused the 
general disapprobation of the nation. He was then nearly sixty 
years of age, and had previously been in correspondence with 
other lovers of liberty. The thought of independence had 
grown stronger in view of the weakening of the Spanish 
monarchy. Hidalgo had several persons on whom he could 
rely, some of them, priests of good reputation, assured him of 
their co-operation if he would lead the way. Satisfied that the 
time had come to strike the blow, Hidalgo prepared his declara- 
tion of independence, made his flag, and on the 16th of Septem- 
ber, 1810, displayed that flag and gave forth the "Grito," or cry 
of independence. His own people and the country around 
took up the cry, thousands flocked to his standard and placed 
themselves under his leadership. 

His first move was toward Guanajuato, where he believed 
some Creole officers would join him with the men under their 
command. That city of 70,000 inhabitants is the center of 
the silver mining of the district. Hidalgo and his army were 
cordially welcomed and remained there for ten days organiz- 
ing his troops. Again, and more formally, he proclaimed the 
independence of Mexico, and was announced as " captain-gen- 
eral " of the forces. In the government treasury lie found 
$1,000,000, which very opportunely supplied him with the 
sinews of war. The increasing crowd that he led was but half 
armed and entirely undisciplined, and it need not be wondered 
at that in the first hour of their power the arrogant conduct of 
their Spanish oppressors was remembered, and in that bitter re- 
sentment for the wrongs so long endured by their race venge- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 69 

ance was taken upon some of them before Hidalgo and the 
leaders could restrain their men. Soon Valladolid, Guadalajara, 
and other cities fell into their hands. More patriots reached 
their camp, foremost among whom were the priests Morelos 
and Matamoros. This army swept on, the country rising in 
favor of the cause of independence, enthusiastically recogniz- 
ing Hidalgo and his chiefs as representing the national will, and 
justly claiming the allegiance and help of all who loved their 
native country. 

In a few days they reached the crest of the great valley of 
Mexico, and a halt was there made to take council as to their 
movements. Right before them in the center of that valley was 
the capital, the possession of which would add thousands of sym- 
pathizers to their numbers and soon place the whole country in 
their power. But a royal garrison held it, amply provided with 
the best armaments of the times, including artillery, and having 
well-disciplined cavalry. Hidalgo hesitated to lead his followers 
into a conflict so unequal. Numbers and courage were under his 
command, ample for any effort, but discipline, weapons, artillery, 
and cavalry he had not, and while some were for taking all the 
risks involved, and desirous of prompt attack, the leader and 
his officers concluded that it was safer for the sacred cause they 
had in charge to retire toward the United States frontier, 
where, with the money in hand, they could purchase all that 
they required, and meanwhile discipline and training would be 
organizing their followers to return again, better fitted for a con- 
flict which now seemed so unequal. 

The order was given to turn northward. But the vigilant 
agent of the viceroy, General Calleja, was watching their move- 
ments and saw that he had them at a disadvantage. He con- 
centrated his troops and followed, attacking them at Aculco and 
again at Calderon, inflicting terrible damages upon the undis- 
ciplined crowd. The main body still held together and reached 
Saltillo in January, 1811. Here Hidalgo left Rayon in com- 
mand, and with an escort pushed on for the Texan frontier to 
purchase the military equipment so much required. Unfortu- 



70 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

nately, just before reaching it he and his party were betrayed, 
by a former friend named Elizondo, into the hands of the 
Spanards. Hidalgo and his three chiefs were at once loaded 
with chains and cast into prison. On the 29th of July he 
was led before the ecclesiastical tribunal, clad in clerical robes, 
for degradation from the priesthood. He was stripped of his 
sacerdotal garb, the chains and fetters put upon him again, and 
then was handed over for execution to the civil authority. 

It is narrated of him by those who witnessed the trying 
scenes that " even the chains and shackles could not detract from 
the dignity and patience that characterized him." He was led 
out to be shot on the morning of July 30, 1811. He faced his 
executioners with courage, and placed his hand over his heart as 
a guide to the soldiers' aim ; but it required the fifth volley to 
extinguish his noble life, the veneration in which he was held 
probably interfering with the accuracy of their aim. His offi- 
cers, Jimenez, Aldama, and Santa Maria, had been executed 
three days before. The heads of all four were placed on spikes 
and elevated on the corners of the castle of Granaditas, in 
Guanajuato, and their bodies in the chapel of the Franciscans. 
When his cause was triumphant, twelve years later, the grate- 
ful nation decreed them a public funeral, and the remains of 
these heroes were tenderly brought from the scene of their 
sufferings and deposited beneath the " Altar of the Three 
Kings," under the dome of the cathedral of the capital of the 
country for whose liberty they died. 

Certainly Hidalgo could not have dreamed of the glorious 
part which his tattered flag should bear in the future. On the 
eve of the 16th of September, the highest national holiday, at 
eleven o'clock P. M., in the Hall of Representatives, the presi- 
dent, his cabinet, and the members of Congress, public men of 
Mexico, with all the brilliancy of society in the capital, crowd 
the structure and wait for the moment when the hands of the 
clock reach the hour at which Hidalgo first raised the cry of 
independence. Then the President of Mexico raises the old 
flag, waves it three times, and repeats the " Grito," " Viva la 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 71 

Libertad! Viva la Republica ! Viva Mexico J '" and the great 
audience rises to join in the shout, " Viva la Republica ! " as if 
they would lift the roof on the building. The thunder of the 
artillery gives its response to the popular joy, and the more 
than three hundred thousand people in the capital, and, indeed, 
the whole nation, remember gratefully the man who died to 
make them free. Visitors who are privileged to witness the 
scene can never forget its deep enthusiasm or fail to realize 
how much constitutional liberty cost the Mexican people and 
how dearly they prize it. 

On the death of Hidalgo the leadership devolved upon Jose 
Maria Morelos. He was also a priest, but a born warrior, and 
one who earned for himself in his brief career the popular title 
of " the hero of a hundred battles." His army continued to 
increase, and many victories were gained over the royalist 
forces ; in many cases the garrisons were surprised, the officers 
were imprisoned, and the troops induced to join the Republican 
army. Morelos became immensely popular, and men began to 
feel that the cause of independence was already won. In 1812 
he was joined by the Bravos (father and son), Guadalupe Victo- 
ria, Bustamente, and Guerrero. 

Morelos was impressed with the necessity of having the 
movement for independence sustain a truly national character, 
and that its interests should be furthered by constitutional 
means. A Congress was gathered representing all classes of the 
Mexican people. It was limited in number, as it was subject to 
constant movement, and could be more easily protected from 
the pursuing army of the viceroy. The care of this Congress 
devolved upon Morelos ; while they deliberated, his division of 
the patriot forces stood over them to guard them from impend- 
ing danger. A constitution was finally framed and proclaimed 
in October, 1814:. Some time after the Congress was moving to 
a more distant point, when Morelos, discovering that the royal- 
ist force was gaining upon them, decided to save the represent- 
atives of the people by remaining with a small guard to check 
the progress of the enemy, while the larger part of the force, 



72 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

under Nicolas Bravo, had time to conduct them to a place of safety. 
Having thus secured their escape, Morelos was unable to face 
the greatly superior force which confronted him, and was taken 
prisoner on the 15th of November. 

General Concha was amazed at the quiet resignation of his 
prisoner as he remarked, " My life is nothing if the Congress be 
saved ; my task was finished from the moment that an inde- 
pendent government was established." He was taken to the 
capital, degraded by the bishop from the priesthood, and handed 
over to the secular power for execution. To increase the deg- 
radation of his death it was ordered that he should be shot in 
the back as a traitor. The vindictive nature of the hierarchy, 
who exulted in his death, is seen in the cruel and reckless lan- 
guage used in the document ordering his execution. He is 
characterized as " an unconfessed heretic, and an abettor of 
heretics, a prof aner of the holy sacraments, and a traitor to God, 
the king, and the pope." All this malignity was manufactured 
out of the one fact that this brave man loved liberty so much 
that he was willing to fight to see it established in his country. 
But the honorable name of Morelos could not be tarnished. 
His countrymen have conferred his worthy name upon the 
capital of one of their greatest States, and in Morelia his name 
is preserved as a shrine of freedom where men go to do homage 
to his memory. His portrait hangs in its principal hall, and 
beneath a frame holds the remnant of the silk handkerchief 
with which he covered his eyes in the hour of his execution, 
and underneath are the lines : 

" This is the venerated relic, 

The mournful bandage with which the tyrant 

Hid the gaze of Morelos, 

When the martyr of the Mexican people 

Offered to his beloved country 

His precious life as a sacrifice." 

How fearful the acts against the patriots is indicated in the 
records of the years between 1810 and 1820. The viceroys con- 
ducted the war with a vengeance which is described as " proc- 



) 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 73 

lamations which make the hair stand on end." So says Chev- 
alier, and adds : " A system of extermination was ordered. 
An order of the day of General Cruz, even still more revolting, 
directed that ' the insurgents should be pursued, incarcerated, 
and killed like wild beasts.' " 

An illustration of their spirit, which contrasts so favorably 
with the noble conduct of the patriotic leaders, is shown in the 
case of the two Bravos, father and son, both holding the rank 
of generals in the Republican army. The father was named 
Leonardo and the son Nicolas. They were devoted to each 
other as well as to the cause of their country. Leonardo Bravo 
was taken prisoner at the battle of Cuautla, was tried and con- 
demned to be shot. Venegas, then viceroy, so highly appreci- 
ated Leonardo's abilities that he offered him his life if he would 
induce his brothers and son, Nicolas, to join the royalists. 
Leonardo scorned such an offer. Before his execution, Nicolas 
Bravo, having in his hands as captives three hundred Spanish 
prisoners — some of whom w r ere wealthy and influential men — 
was authorized by Morelos to offer to exchange the whole of 
them for his father. But the viceroy, appreciating the value of 
a Bravo to the popular cause, rejected the offer and ordered 
the execution to take place. 

The grief of Nicolas for his father was extreme, and he ordered 
his three hundred prisoners to be shot, and had them placed " in 
chapel " (religious preparation for death) for execution next 
morning. During the night he reflected that if his order was 
carried out, while he would be justified in the eyes of the 
world and by the usages of war in executing them under the 
circumstances, in retaliation for his father's death, the cause 
of independence, so dear to him, might be dishonored by the 
act. So his measures were taken, and at sunrise the next morn- 
ing he was on the ground when his army stood confronting the 
prisoners and waiting for the order. Hiding out in front, he 
thus addressed the doomed men : 

Your lives are forfeited. Your master, Spain's minion, has murdered 
my father, murdered him in cold blood for choosing Mexico and liberty 



74 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

before Spain and her tyrannies. Some of you are fathers, and may imagine 
what my father felt in being thrust from the world without one farewell 
word from his son ; aye, and your sons may feel a portion of that anguish 
of soul which fills my heart as thoughts arise of my father's wrongs and 
cruel death. And what a master is this of yours! For one life, my 
poor father's, he might have saved you all and would not ! So deadly is 
his hate that he would sacrifice three hundred of his friends rather than 
forego this one sweet morsel of vengeance ! Even I, who am no viceroy, 
have three hundred lives for my father's. But there is a nobler revenge 
than this. Go! You are all free! Go, find your vile master, and hence- 
forth serve him if yon can! 

The effect was overwhelming. In gratitude to him for 
sparing their lives, the soldiers, with tears streaming from their 
eyes, rushed forward and offered their services to his cause, and 
remained faithful to him and to it to the end. 

General Bravo afterward bore a conspicuous share in the 
history of his liberated country. He lived to take part in the 
American war (1S47), his last military service being at the de- 
fense of Chapultepec and Molino del Rev. He died at the age 
of sixty-eight, beloved and admired by all who knew him. 

Meanwhile the Congress continued its labors, and had the 
courage to send a completed copy of the Constitution which 
they had framed to the viceroy Calleja. The royal council 
to whom he referred it solemnly condemned the document. 
The viceroy had a copy of it burned in the great plaza of 
Mexico by the public executioner, and ordered a similar cere- 
mony performed in all the chief cities where Spain had a garri- 
son. He also issued an edict which threatened with the death 
penalty and confiscation of property any one who was found 
with a copy of the Constitution in his possession, and forbade 
any person to refer to it. 

The peculiar difficulties under which the patriots of Mexico 
wrought out the freedom of their country will be made the 
more manifest and impressive when the actual facts are clearly 
understood. While the Mexicans studied with admiration, so far 
as they could from time to time obtain a view of the condition 
of peace and prosperity which the United States had won for 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 75 

themselves, and longed to be like them, yet there were diffi- 
culties in their way which our patriot fathers never knew, and 
burdens to be borne beyond all that they ever carried, while 
the shut-in condition of the Mexicans separated them from the 
light and intelligence which so brightly shone to guide our way 
to constitutional freedom. 

Let us mark the difference more definitely, that our Mexican 
neighbors may have the proper credit for the freedom which 
they won against such fearful odds. When our patriot fathers 
here pledged " life and fortune and sacred honor " to become 
independent and free, they had not been for three hundred 
years crushed down in ignorance and poverty, almost without 
hope or aspiration. ISTo powerful viceroy wielding the military 
forces of a foreign despot was in power to repress every utter- 
ance for liberty or " hunt them down like beasts of prey " when 
they attempted to obtain it. !No great landed aristocracy, 
owning every acre of the soil, laid its heavy hand upon them in 
vengeance. No wealthy established Church united its ghostly 
power with the civil despotism to repress them, bringing to its 
aid the remorseless Inquisition and their spiritual maledictions, 
adding blasphemously the terrors of God and of eternity to 
utterly crush their cause and their hopes as unlawful. Nor 
were they cut off from the sea and its resources or left without 
one friendly nation on the earth to extend sympathy or a help- 
ing hand to them in the unequal struggle, nor so destitute of 
resources that they had to win battles to obtain weapons and 
ammunition to continue the conflict. All these disabilities the 
patriot Mexicans had to endure for years ere they were able to 
stand on equal terms with the combined and relentless foes of 
their freedom. All they had to begin with was their own right 
hands and noble leaders, who " loved not their lives unto the 
death," to make their nation a land of liberty. Generous 
Americans will give worthy credit to such a people, and to the 
patriots who led them at last to the liberal institutions which 
they now enjoy. 

To all this we may add that the land was, from end to end, 



76 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

without the Bible, the school, or the most elementary literature ; 
that even their Constitution (when they gained one) had not the 
doctrine of religious liberty in it, for that they had to learn at 
a later day, when Benito Juarez enshrined it in his glorious 
Constitution of 1857, and thus crowned the freedom of his 
country. It surely may be questioned whether a people ever 
won constitutional liberty under greater disadvantages than 
these had to endure during their struggles from 1810 to 1857. 

Matters moved slowly during the four following years, but 
in 1820 events in Spain again revived the hopes of the Mexi- 
can Liberals, and they renewed their efforts for independence. 
This led the viceroy to re-organize his army for offensive oper- 
ations and to call once more to his aid the Creole Colonel 
Augustine Iturbide, who had already made himself famous in 
the war against Hidalgo and Morelos. The Spanish forces then 
in Mexico and subject to the viceroy's orders amounted to eleven 
regiments, while the patriot army was estimated at twenty-four 
regiments ; but they were more widely scattered than was the 
royal army, less disciplined, and but half armed. Iturbide was 
appointed by the viceroy to the command of the Army of the 
South-west. 

About this time it came to be supposed that Ferdinand VII., 
in view of the insecurity and unrest of his Spanish throne, was 
considering the question of abandoning that uneasy seat in 
Madrid for a quieter one in Mexico, where he might find more 
devoted subjects and an asylum from revolutions. Some of the 
Liberals were led to suppose that they could obtain constitu- 
tional freedom under Ferdinand, and were willing to consider 
the question. This led to a temporary cessation of hostilities, 
and to the removal of the despotic viceroy. A man of more 
gentle character, named O'Donoju, was sent in his place. Yield- 
ing to the patriotic influences brought to bear on him, Iturbide 
had just before (February 21, 1821) issued to the nation what 
was called the " Plan of Iguala," or the " Constitution of the 
three Guarantees" — religion, independence, and union. In re- 
ligion the nation was to be Roman Catholic, without toleration 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 77 

of any other faith — independence of the entire country from 
Spain ; union conceding the equal rights of the native races 
with those of the Creoles and Europeans. This proposal was 
such an immense advance toward freedom that the "Plan" 
took extensively with the masses, while the enlightened leaders, 
on reflection, regarded it with suspicion as being too churchly to 
be safe for complete liberty. 

The new viceroy and Iturbide met at Cordova and discussed 
the situation. A few modifications in the plan satisfied the 
viceroy, who consented to become one of the members of the 
" Provisional Junta " to carry on the government until a mon- 
arch could be obtained. On reflection Ferdinand declined the 
offered throne. The crown-princes of Spain also refused to 
come. Each thought he had interests at home that would be 
compromised, and the whole affair dropped to the ground. 
During these negotiations the viceroy died, and none other had 
been appointed before events hurried on to a conclusion. Itur- 
bide was now standing at the head of affairs. His "Plan" 
went forth to the nation, the first article of which declared as 
follows : " The Mexican nation is independent of the Spanish 
nation, and of every other, even on its own continent." By 
this act Mexico virtually became independent of Spain, and 
Spain was then so much disturbed and impoverished that she 
was unable to do more than protest ; and so Mexico and South 
America were left, at least for the present, to organize them- 
selves as they chose under the circumstances. But it does seem 
singular that after all the long years of strife Mexico should have 
effected her independence without shedding another drop of 
blood. The Spanish flag, after having floated for just three 
hundred years, was hauled down on the 24th of February, 1821, 
and thus the good seed sown by Hidalgo and his followers was 
in great part harvested by the hand of Iturbide eleven years 
afterward. 

Iturbide had already secured an understanding with Guerrero, 
the Republican leader, ior uniting the two armies in view of 
independence. Had he been satisfied to have remained a pop- 



78 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

ular leader he would probably have been promptly elected con- 
stitutional President of Mexico. But Iturbide was not a patriot, 
and thought more of his own interests than of those of his 
country. Chance threw in his way the opportunity of doing a 
great service to the nation without suffering or risk to himself, 
and he did it, and thus earned the designation of " The Liber- 
ator of Mexico." 

Those who knew him well and remembered his antecedents 
believed him to be heartless and animated by personal ambition. 
Republicans could not forget that Good Friday in 1814 (of 
which Chevalier gives the account in his second volume), when, 
to celebrate his victory at Salvatierra, two or three days pre- 
viously, over the feeble patriotic forces, in the mere wantonness 
of his power he resolved to " celebrate the day becomingly " by 
shooting the three hundred Republican prisoners whom he had 
taken, on the pretext that " they were excommunicated persons, 
and that the Spanish authorities employed spiritual weapons as 
well as swords, muskets, and cannon in subjugating the Inde- 
pendents ! " So, to please the hierarchy and consummate their 
work, Iturbide doomed those men to die like dogs — not on the 
battle-field, but on the parade-ground — because the Church had 
excommunicated them for taking up arms to win the liberty of 
their native land ! Now, however, he had done Mexico a good 
turn, and men hoped he might prove worthy. A new Congress 
in which the clergy were well represented was in session, and 
great solicitude was felt as to the form of government. This 
body stood in the way of Iturbide's ambition to reign, of which 
the patriots learned with alarm. Having gained the attach- 
ment of many of the officers and promised large concessions to 
the Church, his first move was to have a number of his partisans 
parade the streets shouting, "Long live Augustine I.!" The 
next day the Congress debated the question, while the galleries 
were crowded with adherents of Iturbide, who was also present. 
Some voted to appeal to the various States, but a vote was 
forced (May 19, 1822) which awarded the imperial crown to 
Iturbide. The church party gaye their influence, as well they 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 79 

might, considering what was wrapped up in the plan of Iguala, 
from which the Republicans were beginning to fall away. 
Every thing was done to make the coronation a gorgeous cere- 
mony. An archbishop and many bishops added their dignity 
to the occasion. The great cathedral was made to display all 
its resources of magnificence. On the 21st of June, with music, 
processions, illuminations, incense, joy-bells, and salvos of artil- 
lery, he was anointed and crowned at the high altar as Augus- 
tine the First. A heavy civil list was voted, an imperial court 
was arranged, his children were entitled as princes, and an 
aristocracy was instituted. The Spanish government contempt- 
uously repudiated the movement, but was unable then to 
reverse it. Unfortunately for Iturbide's welfare, he soon began 
to presume too much upon the power of his position. The 
Spaniards were unduly favored in the gifts of offices and honors, 
the representatives of the nation were treated to some manifes- 
tations of arbitrary conduct that were unpleasant, and a de- 
mand for more centralized power in the Imperial hands was 
advanced. These and other kindred developments opened the 
eyes of the people to the consciousness that they had not gained 
much by this change of masters. Just here a name looms up 
that was to fill a large space in the future history of Mexico, 
and which became, by force of circumstances, better known to 
Americans than any other south of our own border for the fol- 
lowing forty years. Santa Anna was at this time in military 
command at Vera Cruz. Hearing how matters were going on 
at the capital, and perceiving therein an opportunity to push 
himself into prominence by resistance to a man whom many 
were already beginning to regard as a tyrant, he raised the 
standard of revolt and " pronounced " against Iturbide. Yet to 
Iturbide he owed his own position, as he had been raised by the 
emperor within a few months past from the rank of captain to 
that of general. The Republican leaders, Victoria, Guerrero, 
and Nicolas Bravo, supposing Santa Anna sincere in his profes- 
sions of freedom, hastened to join him with their followers. 
Iturbide soon realized that he had forfeited the confidence of 



80 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

his subj ects, that civil war was upon him, and he was powerless 
to meet it with any hope of victory. So on the 20th of March, 
1823 — just nine months after his elaborate coronation — he 
tendered his resignation. The Congress, however, refused to 
accept it, on the ground that it had not voluntarily elected him 
emperor, '•and proceeded to form a provisional government 
composed of four revolutionary chiefs — Bravo, Victoria, 
Negrete, and Guerrero. Sentence of exile was pronounced 
against Iturbide, but in view of his services in securing inde- 
pendence the Congress voted him a pension of $24,000 per 
annum, on condition of his leaving the country and residing in 
Italy, without the right to return to Mexico. Accepting these 
terms, Iturbide left, with his family, for Italy. Happy had it 
been for him and them had he kept his word with the Mexican 
nation, but on the 14th of July, 1824 — only fourteen months 
after his departure — lie returned, with his family, to Mexico, 
landing at Sota la Marina, in the State of Tamaulipas, when he 
was arrested by the governor and executed. The Congress 
granted a pension of $8,000 to the family, which went forthwith 
to reside in the United States, where the son, Don Angel Itur- 
bide, became a student at the Jesuit college at Georgetown, 
D. C, and there married an American lady of the Romish com- 
munion, daughter of Mr. Nathaniel Green, of that city. A son 
of this marriage, " Prince Augustine," as he is regarded by the 
church party in Mexico, represents the dead emperor, and is the 
connecting link between the past and the present. After his 
father's death he remained in Mexico, with his mother, and was 
there during the French intervention. Toward the close of the 
empire of Maximilian, who was childless, this boy attracted the 
attention of the Empress Carlota, and was adopted with the 
intention of making him heir to the throne, but on the collapse 
of the empire he was surrendered again to his mother. After- 
ward he entered the same college that his father had attendee^ 
and on completing his course returned to Mexico, while he took 
a subordinate position in the army. Here, after a couple of 
years, he was charged with some acts of insubordination toward 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 81 

his superior officer, and after trial was sent to prison for fifteen 
months. Meanwhile his mother had died, and on his release 
lately he left for the United States. This, no doubt, ends the 
probability of the Iturbide family being any further a disturbing 
element in Mexican history. 

The fall of Iturbide closed the empire, and a republic, on 
the model of the United States (save the one item of full relig- 
ions freedom), was established under a constitution, in October, 
1824, General Victoria becoming first constitutional President 
of Mexico, remaining in power until April, 1829. 

By this time Spain had recovered a measure of her strength 
and took the resolution to reconquer Mexico and South Amer- 
ica. A small army was landed at Tampico under the com- 
mand of General Barradas, but it was soon after defeated by 
the Republican army under Santa Anna and General Teran, 
and forced to quit Mexico. These events intensified the hatred 
of the Spaniards, already strong enough. In a moment of 
irritation the Congress voted the exile of all Spaniards from 
the country, but it was not fully carried out. From that hour, 
however, Spanish influence has declined, and the Mexicans have 
come to the front in public affairs. What remain of the Span- 
iards in Mexico have generally continued faithful to their 
preference for monarchical government, and did what they 
could for its re-establishment in Mexico during the following 
thirty years. 

The events which we have now rapidly enumerated, com- 
mencing with the declaration of independence by Iturbide in 
1822 — an event which led the United States to acknowledge 
that independence in the same year — were the facts which, in 
the interests of the peace and political welfare of this continent, 
led President James Monroe to issue in 1823 that doctrine of 
reciprocity of non-intervention which has ever since been asso- 
ciated with his name, and which has done so much to preserve 
our own nation from entanglement with European quarrels. It 
had equally preserved us and the neighboring nations from 
disturbance from foreign powers from that time up to the 



82 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

year 1862, when it was so maliciously violated by Napoleon III. 
and led to the fearful events which the further part of this nar- 
rative is to lay before our readers. The first effect of that 
doctrine was seen in the fact above intimated, that Spain never 
attempted a repetition of the barbarous purpose she undertook 
in 1829, to force her cruel rule on an unwilling people, while the 
failure of the last attempt has, no doubt, settled that question 
for this continent for all time to come. 

The accepted summary of this grand doctrine, under the 
protection of which the nations of North, Central, and South 
America are resting, maybe here presented. It runs thus : 

The American continents, by trie free and independent condition they 
had assumed and maintained, are no longer to be considered subjects for 
colonization by European powers. Any attempt on the part of European 
powers to extend their political systems to the western hemisphere would 
be considered dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States. Any 
interposition by such, powers to oppress or control the governments that 
had declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independ- 
ence had been acknowledged by the United States, would be viewed as 
unfriendly to the United States. The political systems of Europe could 
not be extended to any portion of the American continent without endan- 
gering the peace and happiness of the United States, and such extension 
would not be regarded with indifference. 

From 1822 to 1855 the name of Santa Anna was the most con- 
spicuous in Mexican politics, chiefly as the most active disturber 
of the peace of the nation. His clerical patrons knew well 
how to utilize his remarkable qualities, though it must be con- 
fessed that his eye to the main chance was always as keenly open 
for his own advantage as for the promotion of their purposes. 
His vanity and love of display are apparent in the picture 
opposite, where his breast is covered with decorations that were 
never won nor conferred, though they were assumed, and were 
his because he had paid for them ! His despotic acts no doubt 
postponed by twenty years the rest of constitutional freedom 
that would have been won but for his reckless interferences. 

His full name was Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. His 
home was at Manga de Clavo, near. Jalapa, where he had an 




GENERAL SANTA ANNA, 

The turbulent Dictator of Mexico. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 83 

estate, the extent of which Madame Calderon tells us was twelve 
leagues, between that city and Vera Cruz. Mrs. F. C. Gooch 
truly says of him that 

When only twenty years old he entered the arena of politics by disrupt- 
ing the empire established by Iturbide, and the career thus begun was 
consistently carried out. At an early age he had so mastered the arcana 
of scheming and revolution as to reflect credit on a veteran in the cause, 
demolishing and creating sovereignties, often grasping victory from defeat, 
and gathering strength when all seemed lost. He was five times president, 
and was the means of deposing, probably, twenty rulers. As a commander 
of men his resources and ability were remarkable. After the most disas- 
trous defeat he generally managed to retire from the scene still holding 
the confidence of his ragged, half-starved army, increasing it materially 
while on the move. His fertile brain was ever ready to plan a revolution 
or arrange a coup d'etat. 

In the change which he fomented of establishing a central 
system, abolishing the federal power, every State was deprived 
of its share of control and all authority lodged in the hands of 
the executive in Mexico city. ISTo wonder that Yucatan and 
Texas rebelled and resolved to establish each a separate gov- 
ernment. This was the origin of the war with Texas, and that 
developed into the war with the United States. 

Santa Anna is best remembered by Americans for his attempt 
to whip back the Texans into the traces, when they made their 
effort for independence of Mexican control, and also for his infa- 
mous perfidy in executing the little Texan force under Colonel 
Fannin, after they had surrendered under written stipulation that 
their lives should be spared. Nor will he be soon forgotten in 
our history in connection with his capture by General Houston 
and his little army of Americans and Texans on the 21st of April, 
1836, or the inordinate vanity that he displayed when led into the 
presence of Houston. Santa Anna laid the flattering unction 
to his soul that he was himself a hero of the highest class. He 
had already given himself the amazing title of " The Napoleon 
of the South ! " and expected of his followers that he should be 
so regarded. The record tells us that even in his fallen condi- 
tion as defeated and a prisoner, when he was led into the Texan 



84 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

camp and to Houston's presence, he pompously announced him- 
self as "Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the President of Mexico, 
who surrenders as your prisoner ; " and then added, as he looked 
at General Houston, " You are born to no common destiny, 
who are the conqueror of the Napoleon of the South ! " 

The treafy signed recognized the independence of Texas and 
prompt evacuation of Texas by the Mexican army, and solemnly 
pledged Santa Anna and his four generals (who all signed with 
him) to obtain its confirmation by the government of Mexico. 
How much value there was in the promises and the signature 
of this hypocritical character was evident enough when, about 
six months afterward, on reaching Mexico, he publicly repudi- 
ated the convention into which he had entered and had signed, 
on the contemptible ground that " obligations contracted by an 
individual under duress were absolutely void ! " He thus proved 
himself to be as false and hypocritical to his own parole as he 
was in respecting the conditions which he violated in the case 
of the brave Texans who unfortunately trusted his promises at 
Goliad and San Antonio, 

During his parole in the United States ere he returned to 
Mexico he visited Washington and had an interview with Presi- 
dent Jackson, upon which he afterward liked to dilate, as the 
writer had opportunity to hear him do toward the end of his 
career. Disgraced in the eyes of his countrymen by his failure 
in the Texan campaign, Santa Anna retired to his estate and 
remained there until the following year, when a hostile visit of 
the French navy to Yera Cruz made his services again desirable. 
He was placed in command of the army at that port, and in re- 
pulsing the French troops on the 5th of December, 1838, he 
lost one of his legs. This mended his reputation somewhat, 
but laid him aside until the events of 1841 once more called 
him out, and he became president again, but soon took advan- 
tage of his position and proclaimed himself dictator. 

It may interest the reader and throw some additional light 
upon the great transition through which Mexico had to pass on 
her way from such follies to respectability and character in her 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 85 

public life, if we take another glance at the whimsicalities of 
the man whom we leave here for the present as the arbitrary 
dictator of his suffering country. Some of them seem incredi- 
ble, but we have the authority for them all. 

" The fantastic tricks before high Heaven " which Santa 
Anna was so fond of playing may refer us again to that left 
leg, which he lost by a shot from the Prince de Joinville's artil- 
lery. He had it carefully boxed up, and sent it from Yera Cruz 
to his admirers in the capital, accompanied by an eloquent letter 
breathing great patriotism. The stratagem succeeded, and the 
leg was appropriately cared for until a magnificent monument, 
surmounted by the national insignia, was prepared to receive it. 
Santa Anna returned to the capital before the monument was 
quite finished, and it is said went in the procession to the burial 
of his own leg ! It was deposited with all the honors. He de- 
fended the affair very laconically by remarking that, " It was a 
Christian leg, and deserved to have a Christian burial ! " The 
newspapers of the day announced the event as follows : 

Mexico, September 28, 1842. — Yesterday -was buried with pomp and 
solemnity, in the cemetery of St. Paul, the leg which his excellency, Presi- 
dent Santa Anna, lost in the action of December 5, 1838. It was depos- 
ited in a monument erected for that purpose, Don Ignacio Sierra y Rosa 
having pronounced a funeral discourse appropriate to the subject. 

Gilliam, while referring to these facts, was reminded of an 
event which has a good parallel in it. He says : 

It is true that while Benedict Arnold, the traitor, was in London he in- 
quired of an American what the people of the United States would do 
with him if he should return to his home. The American replied that 
the leg in which he had received an honorable wound, in his career for 
liberty and independence, would be separated from his body and buried 
with all military honors; but that his body would be hung between heaven 
and earth as a traitor to his country. * 

As Santa Anna stood before the crowd around that monu- 
ment where this singular funeral was so pompously conducted, 

* Travels over the Table-Lands and Cordilleras of Mexico during 1843-44, by A. M. 
Gilliam, p. 119, and Calderon's Life in Mexico, p. 368. 



86 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

how little he imagined what would there occur within only two 
years after ! During this brief term of time he could not be 
satisfied with being president ; he must assume dictatorial powers 
and try to bend the Congress to his will. Even the archbishop, 
at the head of the church party, pronounced against his tyran- 
nical policy of levying a forced loan of $4,000,000 — the most 
odious of all imposts, because so opposed to the principal object 
for which governments are founded, the security of the prop- 
erty of the people. His effort excited universal indignation 
throughout the republic and caused his overthrow. Even his 
army refused to fight for him, and deserted, so that he was now 

" The leader of a broken host, 

His standard fallen and his honor lost." 

He had to surrender himself into the hands of his bitter foes, 
who sent him a prisoner to the gloomy fortress of Perote, within 
whose walls many of the victims of his vindictive policy had 
pined in days gone by. During the tumult in December, 1 844, 
the monument was desecrated, and the leg it contained was 
dragged from its resting-place and kicked through the streets 
by the rabble ! This was all the more humiliating to him because 
he had during this very dictatorship indulged so freely in that 
extravagance of display and vulgar love of pageantry for which 
he was so noted. 

After ten years of independence Texas applied for admission 
to the United States. The resolutions providing for her annex- 
ation awakened hot debate in Congress and violent discussions 
all over the country. Into the debates entered the great ques- 
tion of African slavery in the Union. To annex Texas was sure 
to involve the United States in a war with Mexico. To advocate 
war for the sake of extending slavery and increasing the slave 
power of the Union was enough to excite the most bitter oppo- 
sition from the Whig and the Free Soil parties. 

Texas contained two hundred thousand square miles of un- 
disputed territory, out of which, Senator Benton, of Missouri, 
said in Congress, " nine slave States could be made, each equal to 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 87 

the State of Kentucky." This would give, he argued, a pre- 
dominant slave representation in the government. Here, then, 
we find the great underlying cause of the war which so soon 
followed. Mr. Calhoun, also in the Senate, at the close of this 
Texan war, maintained the right of slave-holders to carry and 
hold their slaves in all the free territory acquired by conquest 
from Mexico.* 

It is honorable to Mexico just here to call attention to the 
fact that, as soon as this purpose was avowed, her republican 
sons protested against such a desecration of the territory which 
they had made free by abolishing slavery forever from every 
part of it. But all in vain, as we shall see. Our Southern slave- 
holders, infatuated, forgot Him who is " higher than the high- 
est," who was able to defeat their purposes. 

At this period an event occurred which was to prove of the 
highest moment to the future of the United States and Mexico. 
The war-ships of the British and American navies were hover- 
ing off the coast of California, each anxious to arrive before the 
other, so as to land and run up the flag and take possession in 
the name of their government. Colonel Fremont, with a small 
force, having the same object in view, was operating in the in- 
terior. But there was another party also, representing a differ- 
ent government from either, who was anxiously pushing a proj- 
ect of his own to secure that California for his master and a 
very different future. 

We have heard of that wonderful map which hangs in the 
library of the Propaganda at Rome, said to be the largest 
map of the United States in existence, on which are definitely 
marked all the points of interest and prospective importance 
and power in our great "West and away to the Californian coast. 
It was an immense work then to ascertain and locate these points 
so well and so quietly, " while men slept," unconscious that the 
papacy was preparing to preempt in advance the strategic 
points of these broad lands for its own purposes. These facts 
were presented by Rev. Dr. Ellinwood in an able paper read 

* See History of the War with Jlexico, by H. 0. Ladd. 



88 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 
1881. "We copy so much as refers to our subject. He said : 

But while a Mexican dictator had grasped despotic power, and our 
statesmen had planned for territory which would render slavery secure, 
there were other schemes afloat. 

Testimony now to be found in the archives of the State department at 
Washington shows that in the years 1845 and 1846, just as our conflict with 
Mexico was commencing, an Irish Catholic missionary in California, of 
the name of McNamara, conceived a plan for planting on a very large 
scale a colony of Irish Catholics in the rich valley of the San Joaquin 
River. In an intercepted letter to the Mexican president Father McNa- 
mara says: "I have a triple object in my proposal. I wish, first, to ad- 
vance the cause of Catholicism ; second, to promote the happiness and 
thrift of my countrymen ; and, thirdly, to put an obstacle in the way of 
the further usurpations of that irreligious and anti-Catholic nation — the 
United States. And if the plan which I propose be not speedily adopted 
your excellency may be assured that before another year the Californias 
will form a part of the American nation. The Catholic institutions will 
become the prey of Methodist wolves, and the whole country will be in- 
undated with cruel invaders." The grant of the land was made; and, 
according to the testimony given before a committee of Congress, General 
Castro had armed and organized the Mexican Californians, and had en- 
gaged the Indian tribes to help to exterminate the American settlers, 
when the whole scheme was reported at Washington. 

Captain Gillespie was at once dispatched as a secret messenger to Gen- 
eral Fremont, then on the Oregon border. 

After many hair-breadth escapes from the Indians the message was 
delivered. Fremont turned back, rallied the American settlers, levied on 
horses, guns, and stores, and with the suddenness of a thunder-bolt routed 
the Mexican force, broke up a junta which had been appointed to nego- 
tiate with the British Admiral Seymour, then off the coast, to establish a 
British protectorate, and on the 5th of July, 1846, having learned of the 
declaration of war between Mexico and the United States, he ran up the 
Stars and Stripes, and California was saved for the "Methodists." 

These events are wond erf idly like those which had transpired in Ore- 
gon a short time before; and it is fortunate for Christian civilization 
that the result was the same in both cases.* 

Further light is thrown upon this subject by a paper furnished 
to the Century Magazine by Mrs. Jessie Benton Fremont, 

* Mexico, Her Past and Present Resources, in TJie New York Evangelist, June 30, 18S7. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 89 

widow of General Fremont. From this it appears that McNa- 
mara was a British subject, but working in the interest of a 
project originated at Rome to checkmate the growing Protest- 
antism of the United States. He had succeeded in interesting 
both the civil and religious authorities at Mexico, who had con- 
sidered and indorsed this colonization plan, in which he had 
engaged to locate ten thousand families, to each of whom he was 
to apportion a square league of land. Mexican authority in that 
great West was then a mere shadow, without force and unable 
to sustain itself against the American element scattered through 
the country, if they would only come together and set up a 
government of some kind. Hence the efforts made by McNa- 
mara to hasten the British Admiral Seymour to land in Califor- 
nia, raise his flag, and take possession. He had almost secured 
his prize of 13,500,000 acres, from San Francisco to the San 
Gabriel Mission, near Los Angeles, the San Joaquin River and 
the Sierra Nevada being the boundaries. The Mexican gov- 
ernor, Pio Pico, issued this immense tract of land to Father 
MeNamara " on the express condition that the grant was to 
keep out the Americans." But Fremont and his band suc- 
ceeded in raising the United States flag that very day at Mon- 
terey before Admiral Seymour could arrive and act in MdNa- 
mara's interest. California was thus added to the United States, 
and his plan was utterly defeated. The following year the 
treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo closed the war with Mexico and 
confirmed by purchase as well as conquest the possession of 
California to our Union.* 

A brief reference to our war with Mexico is necessary here. 
Santa Anna (who was recalled from exile to aid in the strug- 
gle) took the field at the head of twenty thousand men. He 
met General Zachary Taylor at Buena Yista, and suffered a 
heavy defeat. At Cerro Gordo he was vanquished, after which 
he retreated to defend the capital, but Molino del Rey, Chapul- 
tepec, and Mexico city surrendered to General Scott. 

* Compiled from Mrs. Fremont's manuscript, in the Century Magazine, April, 
1891. 



90 MEXICO IN TRANSITION". 

The Stars and Stripes floated over the national palace in 
Mexico from September 14, 1847, till June 12, 1848. The 
concessions demanded by the United States government were 
embodied in the treaty signed at Guadalupe by the plenipoten- 
tiaries of both nations on the 2d of February, 1848. By this 
treaty Mexico surrendered territory about equal to one half of 
her former extent, making the enormous total of our southern 
and south-western border of 851,590 square miles ; seventeen 
times the size of the great State of New York, including ten 
degrees of latitude on the Pacific coast, and extending a thou- 
sand miles to the east. 

It is true that $15,000,000 of compensation and a release 
from $3,250,000 of claims of United States citizens on Mexico 
were tendered and accepted by the vanquished nation. But 
the Mexican government well knew that the acceptance of the 
sum offered was obligatory, though it was not, even then, more 
than a fraction of its value, not to mention the hundreds of 
millions which the mines of California were to yield in all the 
future to the United States ! To this was added the bitter re- 
flection to the Mexican administration that after they had, in 
their honest and painful efforts to establish a true republican 
government in their country, abolished slavery forever, and 
now when they entreated, in the framing of this treaty with 
their conquerors, that a clause should be inserted committing 
the United States not to permit slavery to be established in any 
part of the ceded territory, they were met with a disdainful 
refusal, and their honorable demands were rejected by the 
great republic, the power that of all on earth should have 
been to them a friend in their struggle to maintain the liberty 
they had established. Instead of this, our nation was led to 
wage this unnecessary and unjustifiable war in the interest of 
the Southern slave-holders and for the wider extension of their 
wicked institution. For abundant evidence of this fact we 
refer the reader to the book of Mr. Jay,* where, from page 150 

* A Review of the Causes and Consequences of the Mexican War. Boston. Mussey 
& Co., 1849. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 91 

to 195, will be seen, from the action and language of our gov- 
ernment and the debates in Congress, that the extension of the 
area of slavery was the paramount object of the war with 
Mexico. 

It is enough to make any lover of freedom tremble to im- 
agine what the result would have been to the future of the 
world and of Christian civilization had the purpose of the 
Southern oligarchy been carried out as they intended. The 
gain of this immense territory made them so bold that they 
next planned the abolition of all restriction throughout the 
country, so that they might have power of control over their 
slaves from the Canada line to the Gnlf of Mexico. The 
Fugitive Slave Law was passed in their interest, and the 
hunted slave was no longer safe wherever the Stars and 
Stripes floated. The surprise and excitement of the nation, 
and especially of our liberty-loving millions, became intense, 
while the haters of constitutional freedom indulged their bitter 
sarcasm at our expense. We were on the high road to the 
building up, over this wide land, from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific, of the most colossal empire of negro slavery that the 
world had ever seen. It only needed time for development, 
and to be left unhindered by God and man to become even far 
worse and more awful than that " open sore of the world " of 
which Livingtone spoke in Africa. Worse, because the Arabs 
there have set that sore running under the sanction of their 
Koran, while our sacred Book, in its spirit and precepts, forbids 
such injustice. 

So men who were ruled by their consciences and who feared 
God declared that they would not be forced to aid or to perpet- 
uate an institution so unchristian. Slave-holders professed to 
laugh at our reverence for the " higher law," and our convic- 
tions, and were determined to force obedience to the Fugitive 
Slave Law, even declaring that they would erelong " call the 
roll of their slaves under the shadow of Bunker Hill." Slowly 
the great North arose to the duty which she owed to God and 
humanity to free herself from what Mr. Wesley designated as 



92 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

" the sum of all villainies." Judge Harrington, of Yerraont, 
well voiced the conscience of the North in that case where the 
slave-hunter had overtaken his victim and brought him into 
court to demand his rendition, offering the proof of ownership 
in the bill of sale to the person whom he represented. The 
worthy judge closed the case when he ruled that, " This title is 
invalid here. I demand a bill of sale from the Almighty ! " 
So the slave went forth to freedom. 

The word of God is the instrument to unify the world, and 
these mighty movements were in his providence to open its 
way to its great mission among men. In our war with Mexico 
the Bible entered to begin its beneficent work in the hands of 
the Aztecs. There were a few there who had heard of it, 
though they had not seen it ; but they welcomed it, for they 
were longing for a clearer knowledge of the way to salvation. 
A small number of these were priests, like Orestes, Gomez, and 
others. Among the laity more were anxious for its introduc- 
tion, for they had learned that the Bible stood well with liberty, 
that Bible readers every-where were free men, that the most en- 
lightened nations were those where the Holy Scriptures had 
the fullest circulation, and they desired the help of such a book 
in their struggle for popular freedom. When the war with 
Mexico was proclaimed in 1847 the American Bible Society 
grasped the opportunity and appointed Rev. M. Norris as agent, 
an edition of the Spanish Scriptures being then just published. 
Mr. ISTorris went with the army and distributed many copies, and 
was aided by some of the men and officers. An account of what 
was done in this respect was written by Major-Gen eral Casey 
in 1850. "We will quote one fact of special interest on the sub- 
ject, to show how some of the educated people looked at the 
wonderful book, now for the first time within their reach. He 
writes : 

The occupying of the city of Mexico by our army, considering the 
obstacles which were to be overcome, naturally excited a new train of 
thought among the intelligent and thinking Mexicans. They would ask 
these questions of one another : " How is it that these people, whom we had 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 93 

been taught by our priests to consider as God-forsaken heretics, over- 
come all obstacles which have been opposed to them from Vera Cruz to 
this city, and then with a comparative handful of men have broken through 
the three lines of fortifications with which our city was surrounded and 
taken possession of the capital of our republic ? Our city had a popula- 
tion of 200,000, and besides it was under the special protection of Mary 
of Guadalupe, who in many priestly processions about our streets was inter- 
ceded by us. These people possess and are zealously distributing a book 
from which they profess to derive their religion, and from which we also 
pretend to derive ours. May it not possibly be that the priests from 
interested motives have corrupted the teachings of the truth ? " A little 
leaven has been planted in Mexico which by God's blessing will leaven 
the whole. 

At this time General Casey held the rank of captain, and in 
this capacity led the storming party at Cherubusco, where the 
American army suffered its greatest loss, chiefly by the treachery 
of some of its own soldiers. His account of this affair is as 
follows : 

On the 20th of August the battles of Contreras and Cherubusco were 
fought. At the latter place the principal point of attack was a fortified 
convent, and the American army lost 1,000 men in killed and wounded 
by the obstinate resistance. This was caused by the presence of more 
than two hundred deserters from the American army, composed mostly of 
Catholic Irish, who had been persuaded to desert by the instigation of the 
Mexican Catholic priests. Fifty of these men were afterward captured 
and hung, the drop at the gallows falling just as the American flag 
went up on the castle of Chapultepec. When the final assault on the city 
was made by the causeway, at the extremity of which the castle of Chapul- 
tepec was situated, we had but little more than 6,000 men.* 

The sectarian treachery of the Irish deserters might have 
proved to be overwhelming. Yet Mr. Jay considers the pun- 
ishment as excessive. f But it is only fair to remember that 
this had to be judged in the light of the emergency which their 
desertion, and the turning of their weapons against their gov- 
ernment in the presence of the enemy, had created. It might 
have involved the destruction of the whole American force, 
which was so small comparatively. As it was it cost them 

* Christian World, vol. xxiv, p. 47. f Review of the Mexican War, p. 208. 



94: MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

nearly one seventh of their whole number. Nor should it be 
forgotten that this was not the first time. A few months be- 
fore a similar act of treachery had occurred in General Taylor's 
command at Monterey, by the same class of men deserting and 
crossing the river to join their co-religionists on the other side 
and help them fight the Americans. While Christians may 
well seek the intervention of the Omniscient One to guard 
against dangers of this class, the patriot is equally bound to use 
his vigilance to counteract them. On some occasions yet to 
come the celebrated order may need to be repeated as a precau- 
tion, " Put none but Americans on guard to-night ! " The 
spirit of that order might have saved a large part of that dis- 
heartening loss at Cherubusco. 

The valley of Anahuac, in which the city of Mexico is situ- 
ated, is surrounded by high mountains on every side. Between 
the peaks are deep gorges known as " canadas." To one of 
these we went, in 1874, to see the place where a few Mexicans 
used to meet on the Sabbath day to listen to the reading of the 
word of God. A copy of the Scriptures had come into their pos- 
session, and they arranged to assemble to hear it read. The place 
selected was high up on the side of a mountain where a little cave 
was found. They dug a bank for seats on the sides, where 
twenty or thirty might sit, and in the center they built up with 
sods a little rest where the Bible could be laid, and a seat be- 
hind it for the reader to occupy. Every thing had to be done 
with the greatest secrecy. They could not dare to approach or 
leave the place together, for their Jesuit enemies would soon 
have suspected and discovered their retreat. So, from various 
directions and one by one, they came to enjoy their oppor- 
tunity. Every Sabbath this little company of Mexicans 
met together, and the Bible was then brought from its hiding- 
place and read and talked over, and then they would kneel down 
and pray, imploring God to give them grace faithfully to follow 
what they had learned, and entreating him to have mercy upon 
their country and hasten the hour when this holy book should 
be free and available to all in their benighted land. While here 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 95 

in this favored country we were in the regular enjoyment of 
our luxury of the means of grace with " none to make us afraid," 
how little we could realize at what risk and under what diffi- 
culties these honest souls, without any man to guide them, were 
seeking light and help from the divine oracles ! It was no 
ordinary privilege to visit such a place and try to realize how 
it looked with its worshipers only a few years before. Un- 
doubtedly this was a sample of several such scenes over the 
country after the distribution of the Bible had taken place, and 
before the triumph of the republic had made it safe to let it 
be known that people were in possession of it or that they met 
to read or hear it read. After the departure of the Ameri- 
can army in 1848 a raid was made by the clergy upon these 
holy books, and many of them were given up and destroyed by 
burning them publicly with indignities, especially in the cities ; 
but yet many of them were never surrendered, and to-day 
some of those old and well-worn Bibles are seen and examined 
with a peculiar reverence. Thank Heaven, it is not the Bible- 
burners that have the upper hand in Mexico to-day! Their 
malignant power to hinder it is gone. It has at last " free 
course and is glorified " in all the land. 

Santa Anna's failure to free the country from the presence 
of the United States army greatly disappointed the nation and 
led to the formation of factions against him, so that he felt him- 
self forced to resign his positions of president and commander- 
in-chief on the 1st of February, 1848, and on the 5th of April 
he sailed with his family for the island of Jamaica, where for 
nearly five years he found a quiet asylum. But we shall see 
him once more as a turbulent dictator ere his final exile is 
pronounced. The Mexican Congress declared General Herrera 
constitutional president, and the nation tried to recover from 
its terrible experience of war and its many miseries. 



96 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



CHAPTEE IT. 

Extending freedom in South America — Resisted by the pope — Liberalism dis- 
tasteful to privilege — Duke of Richmond — Testimony of Curtis — Ecuador 
the papal model for Mexico — President Barrundia and the papal bull — 
Policy of Pius IX. — Constitutional freedom promised — "Withdrawn — Flight 
of the pope to Gaeta — Roman republic — Papal appeal to Catholic powers to 
crush the Romans — Responded to by Louis Napoleon — Protest — Reaction 
and vengeance — "The Butcher of Bologna" — Gladstone — Sardinia — God 
within the shadow. 

This brings us to a period where we Lave to consider certain 
events transpiring in Europe which will be found to have a 
very intimate relation with those which have preceded and are 
yet to follow in Mexico — facts that proved more hostile to her 
aspirations for freedom than were the events now passed under 
review, sad as they were, but which nevertheless, in the mercy 
of God, contrary to their designed intent, were to help her 
forward. 

He who would properly comprehend the crisis In Mexico 
which we now approach must bear in mind that her sorrows 
were shared by others, and that they arose from identical causes. 
Her great transition did not stand alone, nor was it at all isolated, 
while on her struggle for constitutional freedom was probably 
suspended the future peace and welfare of this whole continent. 
This was specially true of Latin America, but also, and -in a 
very serious sense, it was true of Anglo-Saxon America. All 
that both in the best estate longed for in their respective futures 
was involved in the Mexican struggle, and, under God, depended 
upon her success. If she were crushed they must have been 
involved sooner or later in the great catastrophe ; while, if she 
rose triumphant, the security of all the rest would be established. 

The States of Central and South America had, with one ex- 
ception, enthusiastically proclaimed themselves converts to the 



MEXICO IN" TRANSITION. 97 

theory of constitutional freedom for all their people, which the 
Anglo-Saxon portion so grandly illustrates before them in its 
peace and prosperity, and were coming into possession of simi- 
lar blessings for themselves. To gain this for their respective 
countries their bravest and best had given their treasure and 
their blood, and thousands of them had become martyrs in the 
glorious cause. But all this is hateful to the claims of political 
Romanism. That one little State of Ecuador is more to the 
pope's mind as to what the condition of a State should be than 
all the order, prosperity, and intelligence of the rest put together. 
Once, and only about seventy years ago, all of Central and South 
America were about as Ecuador is to-day, and the papacy was 
happy over their condition, so much so that no voice, with 
her sanction, was ever raised to call them to a better life of 
freedom or intelligence. On the contrary, Romanism did her 
best to rivet those chains and to proscribe and punish with dis- 
abilities and even cruel deaths, as we have already seen, those 
who raised the flag of freedom, even when the ever-to-be-honored 
men who did this were some of her own clergy. 

In this regard (whatever she may say to the contrary occa- 
sionally) Rome holds that the greatest of all offenders on this 
hemisphere against her will and preferences is the United 
States. If it were not for this land of ours her rule would 
have been undisturbed and unchallenged over all the rest, per- 
haps for generations to come. We chose to be free, and at 
once began to talk about it cpiite loudly as a very good thing 
and desirable for every body else, and our neighbors heard and 
proceeded to examine our condition in order to judge for them- 
selves, and were won by the teaching of our example. The 
pope and his curia are not at all in love with us and our meas- 
ures, and their occasional compliments to our blessings must be 
taken with many grains of allowance, as their official utterances 
frequently evidence. It was bad enough for us to have a " free 
Church in a free State" for ourselves, but to u let our light so 
shine" that sixteen States should follow our example and cast 
their concordats away and declare for similar freedom — this 



98 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

was outrageous. In fact, we are a great concern to the pope. 
Worse yet, we are using our prosperity not merely as an example 
of freedom and safe statehood, but we are also employing our 
resources to evangelize the natives of the earth with such vigor 
that our contributions for the spread of the Gospel are double 
what the pope collects from his whole denomination to extend his 
papal missions ! Hence his tears and lamentations and encycli- 
cals bearing on the subject, and his fixed resolves to checkmate 
us by any means within his power. 

There were other elements also that entered into the struggle 
in regard to Mexico. The toryism of the English nation and 
her high chnrchism found our example distasteful, illustrating 
as it did the capability of enlightened men for self-government 
and the power of the Christian Church to sustain herself and 
her institutions without the crutches of State support. To peo- 
ple who held to the " divine right of kings," and the theory of 
a national church establishment and such laws as those of pri- 
mogeniture and entail, the United States was an unwelcome fact 
before the Mexican question was raised. No one can fully 
understand the story of the French intervention in Mexico and 
our relation to it if he does not comprehend how far these 
jealousies entered into the question as well as their sympathy 
for the Southern rebellion. 

There are facts that seem to intimate that a purpose has been 
long entertained by the monarchists of Europe to neutralize the 
influence and example of the United States, and, if possible, to 
overthrow our institutions. There are those who remember the 
language used by the Duke of Richmond, when Governor- 
General of Canada in 1819, to Mr. EL. G. Gates, of Montreal, 
and by him faithfully reported afterward. Speaking of the 
government of the United States, the duke is reported to have 
said : 

It was weak, inconsistent, and bad, and could not long exist. It will 
be destroyed ; it ought not, and will not, be permitted to exist; for many 
and great are the evils that have originated from the existence of that 
government. The curse of the French Revolution and subsequent wars 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 99 

and commotions in Europe are to be attributed to its example, and so 
long as it exists no prince will be safe upon his throne, and the sovereigns 
of Europe are aware of it, and they have been determined upon its de- 
struction, and have come to an understanding upon this subject and have 
decided on the means to accomplish it; and they will even finally succeed 
~by subversion rather than conquest. 

The Church of Rome has a design upon that country, and it will, in 
time, be the established religion and will aid in the destruction of that 
republic. I have conversed with many of the sovereigns and princes of 
Europe, particularly with George the Third and Louis the Eighteenth, and 
they have unanimously expressed these opinions relative to the government 
of the United States and their determination to subvert it.* 

Mr. Gates tells us that the duke then proceeded to show how 
this plan would be carried out. We were to be swamped by 
immigration ; these immigrants would in time become citizens, 
next they would get strong enough to hold the balance of power 
between the parties into which the nation was divided, and 
finally would gain the majority, when our institutions would be 
overthrown and the republic abolished. This is very like the 
testimony and warning of the illustrious Lafayette, who well 
knew the hostility of Romanism to republican governments, and 
declared it as his conviction to Prof. Morse and others that " if 
ever the liberties of the United States are destroyed it will be 
by Romish priests." f It is somewhat startling to pause and 
realize how the duke's anticipations seem in process of accom- 
plishment, and especially remembering that immigration at that 
date was only about 11,000 per annum and the Romish popu- 
lation in this country very small indeed. Now the former has 
risen into hundreds of thousands annually and the latter has 
climbed up to nearly 8,000,000. How amazed would this 
aristocrat become were he here to-day to see it, and how assured 
of the near approach to fulfillment of his anticipations ! Such 
men, however, leave out of their calculations the divine control 
in human affairs and that power which is working for right- 
eousness in this world. The servants of Grod can be calm and 
confident, even with full knowledge of the wicked purposes of 

* Christian World, vol. vii, p. 132. \ Ibid., vol. vi, pp. 305, 359, 454. 



300 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

their enemies, as they realize " The Lord is our defense ; and 
the Holy One of Israel is our King " (Psa. lxxxix, 18). 

The duke in his prophecy only represented the most unworthy 
element of his nation. America and American principles are 
better understood and appreciated by England than ever before. 
"We have a hundred friends there to-day for the one that we 
had in his clay, and so also of the wide world; grand men, 
too, in all ranks of life, who rejoice in our prosperity, and who 
feel all the stronger in view of the fact that they have such an 
ally as the United States to stand with them for constitutional 
freedom (whether monarchical or republican) and evangelical 
faith, speaking the same grand language, reading the same free 
Bible, ruled by the same just laws, laboring together to make 
this world better by the agency of evangelical religion. We can 
offset the prejudiced duke by one of his own order, the devout 
Earl of Shaftesbury, when he wrote to Dr. Baird, of New York, 
declaring, " The union of America with England in all these 
things of prime importance to the human race is of incalculable 
value. May God make us to be ever of one mind and one heart 
for his service and glory ! " 

All the States of Central and South America have broken 
away from the yoke of Spain or Portugal, one after another, 
following the cry for independence proclaimed by Hidalgo in 
1811, and have declared for a republican form of government. 
Mexico became the key to the whole position ; she was nearest 
to us, and, as fast as able, copied our example. The others, 
bound largely by the medium of a common language, studied 
and imitated her. Their struggle with dictatorships has resulted 
in constitutional order more or less perfect. Their concor- 
dats are abrogated, in many civil and religious liberty is pro- 
claimed, monasteries and nunneries abolished and their proper- 
ties secularized for the support of the State and education, the 
press made free, civil marriage laws passed, and altogether a 
new life of peace and prosperity has been entered upon under 
which some of these States have reached an era of order and 
social welfare which surprises those who visit their territories. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 101 

Meanwhile Protestant missions Lave gone in to offer a purer 
faith and a Christian education to their youth. This has been 
accomplished by resolute men in the face of mighty opposition. 
From Rome came anathemas and excommunications, hurled at 
them in the name of Almighty God by a power that could not 
show its right to speak in his name. At home clerical des- 
potism, with all the bitterness it dared to show, fought the 
new-born freedom, but the rising intelligence of the people 
saved the precious cause and brought it to its present state of 
advance. 

We select an illustrative instance here from a responsible 
source, one which will present the very latest aspects of the 
situation. The government of President Arthur selected a 
gentleman of known ability to proceed to Central and South 
America as commissioner and accredited agent of the United 
States, to examine and inquire thoroughly into the condition of 
the States of Spanish America and the prospects of trade and 
commerce with this country, and to furnish reliable information 
concerning the finances, trade, agriculture, politics, social con- 
dition, and necessities of the several States. Mr. William E. 
Curtis was selected to fulfill this commission. A short time 
since he returned, and has given us a volume entitled Capitals 
of Spanish America, in which" he has concentrated a mass of 
information, well arranged and illustrated, more complete than 
can be found in any other work. Mr. Curtis was evidently 
surprised and delighted to find such enlightened freedom and 
extending prosperity among these South American States. "We 
present the condition of one State which he visited and found 
to be in such fearful contrast with all the rest, the lowest of the 
low, which had deliberately refused the boon that the others 
had so earnestly sought, and in the possession of which they 
are so glad and grateful. Yet the fact will show that this sad 
exception of Ecuador is one fixed exactly according to papal 
requirement, and just as political Pomanism would have it 
arranged. As our readers study the description they will do 
well to bear in mind that here is shown the model after which 



102 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

such desperate effort would have been made to mold the future 
of Mexico had the French intervention been successful. 

That all this miserable condition of things was intended and 
provided for by the papacy as their idea of what a State should 
be is evident in the terms of the treaty into which this very 
State entered, or rather to which its ultramontane President 
Moreno committed it, in April, 1863, when he negotiated that 
treaty with Cardinal Antonelli, the papal secretary of state. 
Three or four paragraphs will show its character as a sample of 
her preferences, and will equally show what Rome would have 
insisted on had she succeeded in Mexico, and would insist on 
every-where if she once gained her hoped-for ascendency in 
America. It was expressly stipulated in the case in the pope's 
name as follows : 

1. The Eoman Catholic and apostolic religion is the religion of there- 
public of Ecuador. Consequently the exercise of any other worship or 
the existence of any society condemned by the Church will not be permitted 
by the republic. 

2. The education of the young in all public and private schools shall 
be entirely conformed to the doctrines of the (Roman) Catholic religion. 
The teachers, the books, the instructions imparted, etc., etc., shall be sub- 
mitted to the decision of the bishops. 

3. Government will give its powerful patronage and its support to the 
bishops in their resistance to the evil designs of wicked persons, etc. 

4. All matrimonial causes, and a"ll those which concern the faith, the 
sacraments, the public morals, etc., are placed under the sole jurisdiction 
of the ecclesiastical tribunals, and the civil magistrates shall be charged to 
carry them into execution. 

5. The privileges of churches (the ancient right of asylum in conse- 
crated buildings) shall be fully respected. 

6. Tithes shall be punctually paid, etc. 

The preceding extracts vindicate the deliberate judgment of 
Lord Palmerston, for so many years prime minister of En- 
gland, and who had the widest opportunity to form an opinion 
of Romanism in this respect. He left us his conviction in the 
following language : 

All history tells us that wherever the Romish priesthood have gained a 
predominance there the utmost amount of intolerance is invariably the prac- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 103 

tice. In countries where they are in the minority they instantly demand 
not only toleration, but equality, but in countries where they predomi- 
nate they allow neither toleration nor equality. 

But we need not now to go to foreigners to ascertain the 
real purposes contemplated by the papacy, not only in Mexico 
and South America, but in this, our own land, as well. The 
pope may not have intended this to be so plainly uttered just 
yet in a Protestant country, but as a sample of what is already 
avowed by Catholic writers, who jump so confidently to their 
conclusions as to our prospective subjugation when they gain 
the power of numerical majority, and as an illustration of Lord 
Palmerston's words, take the following, which appeared some 
time since in the Rambler, a prominent Roman Catholic journal 
in our own land : 

You ask, If the Catholic were lord in the land, and you (Protestants) in 
the minority, what would he do with you ? That would depend upon 
circumstances. If it would benefit Catholicism he would tolerate you ; if 
expedient he would imprison you, banish you, fine you, possibly he 
might even hang you. But be assured of one thing, he icould never tolerate 
you for the sake of the " glorious principles of civil and religious liberty.'''' * 

Many Protestants suppose, as did the writer in other days, 
that, whatever might be the record of Romanism in the past, 
she must have been touched with the tolerant spirit of our age, 
and that it is a mistake to suppose she is really so false to free- 
dom and so resolutely bent, whenever she gains the power of 
numbers, on renewing her intolerant course toward those who 
dissent from her teaching as these utterances of her public 
writers so often imply. Alas ! the language of her highest au- 
thorities and her work as we see it here and in Mexico make it 
impossible longer to hold on to this judgment of charity con- 
cerning her real intentions. We have no evidence that as a 
Church she is changed for the better or would show herself 
more tolerant and less cruel than she was in the days of old. 
Romanists can easily be found who favor tolerance, but they 
do not guide her policy, and could not restrain it if the hour 

* Christian World, vol. xiv, pp. 299, 301. 



104 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

and the opportunity which she so much desires should again 
return to her. 

Now, what did Mr. Curtis find in Ecuador as a result of their 
concordat relations with Rome ? We quote a few sentences in 
reply : 

The rule which prevails every-where, that the less a people are under 
the control of that Church the greater their prosperity, enlightenment, and 
progress, is illustrated in Ecuador with striking force. One fourth of all 
the property in Ecuador belongs to the bishop. There is a Catholic church 
for every one hundred and fifty inhabitants; of the population of the 
country ten per cent, are priests, monks, or nuns, and two hundred and 
seventy-two of the three hundred and sixty-five days of the year are ob- 
served as feasts or fast days. 

The priests control the government in all its branches, dictate its laws 
and govern their enforcement, and rule the country as absolutely as if the 
pope were its king. There is not a railroad or stage-coach in the entire 
country, and until recently there was not a telegraph wire. Laborers get 
from two to ten dollars a month, and men are paid two dollars and a quar- 
ter for carrying one hundred pounds of merchandise on their backs two 
hundred and eighty-five miles. There is not a wagon in the republic out- 
side of Guayaquil (the port), and not a road over which a wagon could 
pass. The people know nothing but what the priests tell them; they have 
no amusements but cock-fights and bull-fights, no literature, no mail 
routes except from Guayaquil to the capital (Quito). If one tenth of the 
money that has been expended in building monasteries had been devoted 
to the construction of cart-roads, Ecuador, which is naturally rich, would 
be one of the most wealthy nations, in proportion to its area, on the globe. 

Although Ecuador is set down in the geographies as a republic, it is 
simply a popish colony, and the power of the Vatican is nowhere felt so 
completely as there. ... So subordinated is the State to the Church that 
the latter elects the president, the Congress, and the judges. A crucifix 
sits in the audience chamber of the president and on the desk of the pre- 
siding officer of Congress. All the schools are controlled by the Church, 
and the children know more about the lives of the saints than about the 
geography of their own country. There is not even a good map of Ecua- 
dor. . . . The social and political condition of Ecuador presents a pict- 
ure of the Dark Ages. There is not a newspaper printed outside of the 
city of Guayaquil, and the only information the people have of what is 
going on in the world is gained from strangers who now and then visit the 
country, and a class of peddlers who make periodical trips, traversing the 
whole hemisphere from Guatemala to Patagonia. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 105 

The ceremony of marriage is not observed to any great extent, for the 
expense of matrimony is too heavy for the common people to think of 
paying it. For this the Catholic Church is responsible, and to it can be 
traced the cause of the illegitimacy of more than half of the population. 
One fourth of the city of Quito is covered with convents, and every fourth 
person you meet is a ])riest or a monk or a nun. 

Until the influence of the Romish Church is destroyed, until immigra- 
tion is invited and secured, Ecuador will be a desert rich in undeveloped 
resources. With plenty of natural wealth, it has neither peace nor in- 
dustry, and such a thing as a surplus of any character is unknown. One 
of the richest of the South American republics and the oldest of them all, 
it is the poorest and most backward.* 

How there could be found people who deliberately prefer 
this condition of things seems impossible to comprehend. Yet 
the beneficent changes wrought in other States alarmed the 
papacy and aroused its determination to force back these States 
into the condition of Ecuador. For this purpose the French 
Intervention was attempted in Mexico, to extinguish, if pos- 
sible, constitutional freedom and evangelical Christianity upon 
this continent. 

Every step toward progress which these now free States made 
has been fought by the pope. Evidence of this is abundant. 
We need only quote one as a sample, the case of New Granada. 
There lies before us the allocution of the pope against that 
State, dated 27th of September, 1852. Being nearly nine pages 
long we have room only>for the doings which he denounces and 
his attempted abrogation of them and his threats of punishment. 
The translation is from the Tablet, the Irish Roman Catholic 
journal. His "holiness" first enumerates the chief actions of 
the government and legislature of New Granada, which he 
denounces. They are as follows : 

1. The expulsion of the Jesuits and the breaking up of the other or- 
ders. 2. The encouragement given to those who had taken the monastic 
vows to break them and return to the ordinary manner of life. 3. The 
giving of the appointment of parish priests and the regulation of their 
salaries to the people of each parish, convened in public meeting. 4. The 
interference of the government in the question of the revenues of the 
* Capitals of South America, by W. E. Curtis, p. 306. 



106 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

archbishop and bishops. 5. The introduction of " free education." 6. The 
liberty given to all to print and publish their opinions on the subject of 
religion. 7. And finally the liberty granted to immigrants and to any one 
else to prof ess privately and publicly whatever worship they please. 

And this is all to make him, as he declares, " heavily op- 
pressed," and cause him " bitter grief." 

How does he meet the situation ? He states that since 1845 
he has been complaining and remonstrating with that legislature 
and government " against these unjust laws " and " nefarious 
decrees," and had backed up the bishops in their resistance to 
them ; and he condemns the clergy who were willing to accept 
and obey them, and denounces the proposal of the president " to 
give our legate his conge when he did not neglect to protest in 
our name against all those wicked and sacrilegious attempts." 
Then he comes to his denunciation : 

We do censure, condemn, and declare utterly null and void all the afore- 
said decrees, which have, so much to the contempt of the ecclesiastical 
authority and of this holy see, been there enacted by the civil power. 

He then adds his threat and closes : 

We very gravely admonish all those by whose instrumentality and orders 
they were put forth that they seriously consider the penalties and censures 
which have been constituted by the apostolical constitutions and the 
sacred canons of councils against those who violate and profane sacred 
persons and things and the ecclesiastical power and the right of this apos- 
tolic see.* 

The legislature and government of New Granada were un- 
moved by this bitter blast from Rome, and paid it no more at- 
tention than the idle wind which passed by them. The presi- 
dent and public men of the State of Honduras were not quite so 
patient, when about the same time the pope and his secretary 
of state, Antonelli, tried the same course with them, and on their 
refusal to be moved one iota from the liberal constitution which 
they had framed and were following the pope excommunicated 
the president. When the bull of excommunication arrived the 
president called a mass-meeting in the public square to hear it 

* Christian World, vol. iv, pp. 55-63. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 107 

read. He had a company of artillery and a cannon placed in 
front of the crowd, with the muzzle pointed toward Rome and 
loaded with blank cartridge. When all was ready President 
Barrundia, standing beside the gun and facing the dignitaries 
of state, civil and military, drew forth and read aloud every 
word of the bull. Then, carefully folding it, he placed it in the 
cannon, had it rammed home, and gave the signal to send it 
back to Rome ! * This was the very spirit of Martin Luther 
when he burned the pope's bull at Wittenberg. The free and 
enlightened world applauds the courageous act of the great re- 
former, as the freemen of South America to-day do that of 
Barrundia. One of the leading editors of the State struck the 
key-note of their freedom when, in view of these transactions, 
he wrote : 

We are Catholics and partisans of the absolute emancipation of the 
Church, because religion is all conscience and needs nothing from force. 
Its seat is in the heart. What religion needs is what every thing needs — 
liberty, not in licentiousness, but in justice. 

When will Rome learn this simple lesson and give up her 
foolish attempts to override the conscience of mankind % 

This is the power whose workings we have to watch with 
sleepless vigilance as the price of liberty for ourselves and for 
others — a power unscrupulous, unchanging, and centralized, 
wielding the false assumption of a divine authority and demand- 
ing the absolute subjection of all to its despotic will ; its center 
the Roman curia, its secret police the Jesuits, its army of oper- 
ations the bishops and priests, sworn to implicit obedience to all 
its behests, no matter how unpatriotic, illiberal, or unscriptu- 
ral they may be. Not satisfied with his despotic rule over his 
own denomination, Pius IX. set his heart upon extending that 
rule over all the other Churches. He asserted that he was the 
vicegerent of God upon this earth, without warrant for the 
claim ; still he attempted to force that claim on Mexico, thereby 
causing the most agonizing conflict of her history. What made 
this all the more difficult to endure was the fact that he made 

* Christian World, vol. v, p. 307. 



108 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

the world believe, for a few weeks at the beginning of his reign, 
that the spirit of the nineteenth century had reached the Ro- 
man curia, and that their war against modern civilization was to 
cease. The liberal cabinet selected by Pius IX. framed a 
statuto (constitution), which was promised in the pope's name 
in 1847. The liberal world was taken by storm, men threw up 
their hats and cheered for " the reforming pope ! " "A con- 
federated Christendom " was talked of, with Pius IX. at the head, 
and universal liberty safe under its protection. Crowded public 
meetings were held in the cities of our land ; one such, on the 
29th of November, 1847, in the Broadway Tabernacle, with the 
mayor of New York in the chair, while the leading men present 
exulted in " the movement which had placed the head of the 
most venerable Church in Western Christendom at the front of 
the great liberal movement in the whole world ! " Horace 
Greeley made one of the addresses, and moved six enthusiastic 
resolutions, the last of which we here cpiote : 

Resolved, That "peace hath her victories, no less renowned than war," 
and that the noble attitude of Pius IX., throwing the vast influence of the 
pontificate into the scale of well-attempted freedom, standing as the ad- 
vocate of peaceful progress, the prompter of social amelioration, industrial 
development, and political reform, . . . is the grandest spectacle of our day, 
full of encouragement and promise to Europe, more grateful to us, and more 
glorious to himself, than triumphs on a hundred battle-fields ! * 

Mexico doubtless rejoiced as she heard their jubilations, and 
supposed her long conflict was ended — that freedom's bright 
day under the highest religious sanction had dawned at last for 
her. She could not then have for a moment anticipated a French 
Intervention and a cruel war, forced upon her within sixteen 
years, sanctioned by the man who at that moment was raising 
such hopes of freedom. 

Poor Greeley, too ! How little he could imagine in that hour 
that twenty years after he would stand again on that same plat- 
form to utter his disappointment at the failure of the hopes he 
then expressed, to indignantly denounce those who had proved 
* Christian World, vol. xxii, p. 92. 




POPE PIUS IX., 

Who sanctioned and sustained the usurpation of Maximilian. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 109 

so false to their pledges of freedom, and to give his sympathy 
to a real liberty in Italy under the constitutional rule of 
Victor Emmanuel when the pope's temporal power was in 
the dust ! 

■This purposed freedom in Rome, under pontifical patronage, 
was destined to an imperfect development and a short life. It 
is amusing to read the " faint praise " with which the experi- 
ment was greeted by Roman Catholic writers, like Maguire, in 
his Rome : Its Rulers and its Institutions. As we follow him 
for a little we see that it did not put him into any intoxication of 
delight, like that exhibited by the advocates of liberty who be- 
lieved the papacy sincere in its reforming course. Unfortunately 
for himself, the pope had raised hopes of constitutional freedom in 
the minds of the liberal party in Italy, but when the constitu- 
tion, after long delay, appeared it did not give satisfaction. The 
press of Rome and the liberal leaders began to realize that they 
were trifled with. The Romans, army and people, resolved not 
to be cheated out of their right to a liberal constitution, and 
held Pius IX. to his promises. Their determination was such 
that the Pope chose to regard himself as in danger for his liberty, 
if not for his life — an insinuation which they indignantly re- 
pelled. Instead of conciliating, he made up his mind to desert 
them, and thus, he thought, to throw all things into confusion. 
This was carried into effect on the night of November 24, 1847. 
Count Spaur, the Bavarian minister, and his wife had their car- 
riage at the palace of the Quirinal, where the pope, disguised in 
a suit of livery, took his seat on the box beside the coachman, 
and thus the head of the Catholic world, under the hat of a 
lackey, rolled away from his palace. They rode all night to 
■Gaeta, where, under the wing of the King of Naples, he was pro- 
tected during the seventeen months of his absence from Rome. 
For this secret flight there was no necessity. He had only to 
ieep his promises to his people to win their loving gratitude ; 
but, having decided to disappoint their hopes, and by appealing 
to the Catholic powers to restore him to his throne by force of 

arms in case the Romans did not invite his return on his own 
10 



110 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

terms, be could provide for the punishment of the patriotic 
leaders of the Roman people, who were so obnoxious to him, as 
well as secure a foreign garrison to keep the people in subjec- 
tion in the future. 

The flight of Pius IX. was welcome news to the Romans, 
who proceeded at once to organize a constitutional assembly. 
They closed the Inquisition, re-organized the police, provided 
educational facilities and other beneficent measures that were 
greatly needed. A most respectful appeal was made to the 
pontiff to return and resume his spiritual functions, assuring 
him of their loyalty to him as the head of the Church, asking 
only that he recognize the civil liberties which they had estab- 
lished and had determined to maintain. They would concede 
complete liberty of action in religious matters, and so end peace- 
ably the long contention. But this proposition from the people 
was indignantly spurned by the pope. Nothing but their abso- 
lute submission to the former state of things would satisfy him. 
Instead of conciliating those whom he professed so much to love, 
like the " gentle lamb " and " mild clove," as Maguire calls him, 
he issued an appeal, couched in the harshest language, addressed 
to the great Catholic powers, demanding their armed assistance 
to crush his people and their chosen government, to re-instate 
him on his throne, and to sustain him there. This is the clos- 
ing sentence of the appeal : 

Since Austria, France, Spain, and the kingdom of the Two Sicilies are, 
by their geographical position, in a situation to be able efficaciously to 
concur by their armies in re-establishing in the holy see the order which 
has been destroyed by a band of sectarians, the holy father, relying on 
the religious feeling of those powerful children of the Church, demands 
with full confidence their armed intervention to deliver the States of the 
Church from this band of wretches who by every sort of crime have prac- 
ticed the most atrocious despotism.* 

Louis Napoleon, anxious to bid largely for the support of the 
priesthood in France, and jealous of the rival power of Austria, 
regarded up to that time as " the pope's broad shield," promptly 

* Rome : Its Rulers and its Institutions, by T. J. Maguire, M.P., p. 116. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. Ill 

sent a force of forty thousand men, that after a struggle of 
two months overcame the heroic defenders of Rome. The 
Austrian troops meanwhile stamped out all patriotic resist- 
ance in northern Italy. The pope may be said to have walked 
over the mutilated bodies of his subjects to his throne. The 
survivors published to the world a protest that in vigor of lan- 
guage exceeds any thing ever addressed to any pontiff. This 
document was prepared by the " Circolo Populare " (the 
People's Club). It was issued a short time before the city of 
Rome fell into the hands of Louis Napoleon, and had the 
widest circulation among the people. In it is expressed with 
dignity and sincerity an exalted knowledge of justice and right 
and true religion. We have room for only a few of its vigorous 
sentences. They thus address Pius IX. : 

You say that you have received from God, the Author of peace and 
charity, the mission to love with parental affection all people and all 
nations, and to procure for them, as far as lies in you, protection and 
safety, and not to urge them on to slaughter and death. False words! 
for they are helied by the solemn fact, confessed by yourself, of your hav- 
ing called against us, and urged on to fratricidal war, Austria, France, 
Spain, and part of Italy. Who has caused the slaughter at Bologna 
and Ancona, and the carnage under the walls of Rome? You were adverse 
to that war which brave citizens fought for the safety of Italy; but O, 
you are not averse to this one, carried on by vile men for the purpose of 
replacing you, the most abhorred of sovereigns, on the throne which you 
deserted, and from which, by the inscrutable decree of divine Providence, 
rather than by act of ours, you have been deposed ! Whose blood waters 
our land? Whose carcasses cover our fields ? Unworthy pontiff ! This 
blood cries for vengeance before the throne of God, and those souls will 
bring down on you the judgment of the Most High ! . . . Who can for- 
give you your perversions of facts and outrages on persons? Language 
has not words more black and disdainful than those you employ against 
us, whose crime is that of having despoiled you of your earthly sovereignty 
after having exhorted you, in a thousand ways, to carry out true reforms, 
stable, and such as our wants demanded. It is not the word " republic " 
we are in love with, but we want a wise, provident, and just government. 
Now this, call it what you will, is what we have always wanted, and we 
have a right to it. To this point we tried to urge you, from which the 
government of the popes had so far receded. 



112 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Vindicating their claim to be called Bible Christians, and not 
" infidels," as he called them for opposing his temporal power, 
they continue : 

We hold the religion of Christ dear, because we believe it to be true, 
saving, and holy. But this religion, which is none other than faith in 
Christ, by which we are justified before God, and forgiven all sins, can 
well exist without bishops and priests. This religion of faith, professed 
by many persons in all parts of the world, constitutes that invisible 
Church of believers which is universal, whose Head and Pontiff and 
Priest is, and can only be, Jesus Christ. . . . 

When you left Rome the Bible entered it. The Bible so long perse- 
cuted by the popes, both the Gospel of Christ and the holy letters of 
the apostles faithfully translated into Italian, are now in the hands 
of the people, who read them, and there they find neither popery nor 
pope. . . . 

O, senseless we! That we should ever have believed you, ever ap- 
plauded your feigned promises and ephemeral concessions, to find ourselves 
now deluded in our hopes and cheated of our happiness ! If you appeal 
to the religion of the canons, we stand by the holy religion of the Gospel ; 
you belie it; we are faithful to God and to his Christ. Yes, we believe 
in the Christ of God, and our faith daily increases in comparing his doc- 
trine with your practice. The more we disbelieve you, the more are we 
led to see that we ought to believe him. He is the free Saviour of his 
people, you an oppressor and destroyer. You, who alone might have 
saved our country and redeemed it from its lost condition, have joined 
yourself to her enemies to condemn and destroy her.* 

These are not the words of " blasphemers of God and relig- 
ion," nor of " anarchists," nor " red republicans," nor of " de- 
mons let loose from hell," as Pius IX. so cruelly and unjustly 
called them. They were merchants, teachers, business men of 
intelligence, trusted by those below them in the social scale, 
whose violence they restrained. 

This indignant protest of the heroic defenders of freedom 
called the attention of the civilized world to the awful venge- 
ance dealt out to the patriots on the restoration of the papal 
power. "When government expostulations had been tried in 
vain, several public men went to Italy to investigate the truth 

* Christian World, vol. i, pp. 12-17. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 113 

of these reports. From England, among others, went the Hon. 
"W". E. Gladstone and Rev. William Arthur. Their letters and 
books show what they found. 

Mr. Maguire fights very shy of the terrible vengeance taken 
on the republicans by the government of the pope and the 
other potentates of Italy on their restoration. He sneers at 
English opinion, and especially at Mr. Gladstone for aiding to 
form that opinion, as to the cruelties practiced by the Italian 
despots in 1849. He assures us that all this is the unwarranted 
exaggerations of the liberal party, and states that it cannot be 
true, because " his holiness Pius IX. was as gentle as a lamb 
and as mild as a dove" (p. 412), and even dares to add that 
" the King of Naples was one of the most foully libeled of 
living men." This Romish Avay of writing history is worthy 
of Jesuitism itself. The facts form one of the saddest 
chapters of the modern history of Europe, and received at 
the time the attention of many competent witnesses. Mr. 
Arthur gives his authorities for the dreadful facts he pre- 
sents in his work, The Modern Jove.^ We quote one or two 
paragraphs : 

Under guise of an amnesty the pope excluded from political pardon 
members of the assembly, general officers, and a multitude besides, 
and applied the rule with such rigor that among his subjects the word 
" amnesty " became another name for death, prison, and exile. 

No sooner did the French authorities see what cruelties were meditated 
by the ecclesiastics than they tried to prevent them, but in vain. The 
Austrians, who held the northern part of his States, were at first and in 
general ready instruments of the priestly excesses, but even they some- 
times turned upon their employers. Gennarelli, in his sad little book, 
I Lutti dello Stato Romano, quotes a case of an Austrian officer who, with 
his battalion of Croats, had to protect executioners from popular fury, 
and said that had he to serve such a government he would tear off his 
uniform and break his sword. In the town of Bologna alone, during the 
years of restored papal authority, one hundred and eighty-six persons 
were shot. And as to Faenza and Imola, Gennarelli cites a document in 
which the government alleges a case where no less than eighty were shot 
after a single trial, while ten more were sent to the galleys, and thirteen 
to prison. (P. 108.) 



114 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

The wonder is that enough to continue the struggle for lib- 
erty were left when this savage process had ceased ; and the fact 
that there were, and to win it, too, shows, as it did in Mexico, 
how universally and sincerely the people had resolved to be 
free. God alone knows the price they had to pay in either 
land to win their freedom. It would be hard to find a patriot 
people whose heroic endurance of exile, scaffold, and dungeon 
more appropriately suggests Lowell's lines : 

" Truth forever on the scaffold, 

"Wrong forever on the throne. 
Yet that scaffold sways the future, 

And behind the dim unknown 
Standeth God, within the shadow, 

Keeping watch above his own." 

One of the most unscrupulous of the officials of the papacy, 
in carrying out the persecutions and massacres of the defeated 
liberals, was Monseigneur Bidini, apostolic nuncio. So atrocious 
was this man's thirst for vengeance that he has been since 
known and hated through Italy as " the Butcher of Bologna." 
In view of the character for ferocity which he had acquired 
there were few governments in Europe that were willing to 
have him made the medium of communication with them. 
Yet only two years after these events, and while his cruel noto- 
riety was still so fresh, this was the person chosen by the pope 
to be sent to America to perform some mission in this country, 
and then to go to Mexico and Brazil. This seemed to be a 
studied insult, in complete disregard of our views, for which 
there could be no excuse. President Polk, in 1817, when send- 
ing our first charge d'affaires to Rome, had requested the pon- 
tifical court, in the event of their sending any diplomatic agent 
to this country, to send always a layman, not an ecclesiastic— 
the same thing that the Duke of Wellington had insisted upon 
before, when it was proposed that England should send an 
embassador to Rome. Notwithstanding this distinct notifica- 
tion Pius IX. deliberately disregarded the request of our gov- 
ernment, and not only selected an ecclesiastic, but one whose 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 115 

hands were stained with the blood of the martyrs of Italian lib- 
erty, this Archbishop Bidini, as their chosen emissary to this 
republic. 

Father Gavazzi was here when this ill-omened messenger ar- 
rived, and publicly denounced him in one of his lectures. The 
exiled Italian patriots then in New York heard of his land- 
ing, and called a public meeting, where they denounced him 
from their personal knowledge of his cruel acts against their 
countrymen, and exhibited his infamous character before the 
American people. His clerical friends were led to fear for his 
life, so they kept his whereabouts as secret as possible, and 
when the hour for his departure arrived he was taken on a tug- 
boat down the Hudson to the ship without passing through the 
city, and so escaped the vengeance of his countrymen. He had 
previously been burned in effigy in Cincinnati, Baltimore, and 
other cities, and his cruelties exposed in many of the leading 
papers. 

In the sorrowful period which now ensued in Italy only one 
of her sovereigns paid the slightest regard to the constitutions 
and promises of freedom granted in 1848. The others de- 
stroyed their constitutions, resumed their despotic rule, opened 
the dungeons of the Inquisition, and the cause of freedom soon 
seemed dead in Italy. The grand exception was Charles Albert, 
King of Sardinia, who, faithful among the faithless, became the 
star of hope amid the darkness. Still, what could he do against 
the despotism of the other six rulers, and the Legion of France 
upholding the power of the pope? God raised up to help him 
one of the grandest of men, Count Camillo cli Cavour, a man 
who had traveled and studied the institutions of self-governing 
countries till the freedom of his native land became his absorb- 
ing passion. He believed it was possible to liberate and unite 
the Italian people. The brave little kingdom of Sardinia had 
only four millions of subjects, while the reactionary powers had 
twenty millions, but it began its march of progress by granting 
liberty to its inhabitants and religious freedom to the Waldenses, 
who were reduced to about twenty-five thousand souls by the 



116 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

persecutions that had wasted them for the past six hundred years. 
Their gratitude to this constitutional king was unbounded, and 
a legion of them was raised that faithfully served in the final 
struggle for the unity of Italy. They bore on their banners 
the inscription " The grateful "Waldenses to Charles Albert." 
The fearful "shadow" over them had been lifted. All through 
the past two hundred and fifty years the prayer of John Milton, 
Oliver Cromwell's great secretary, had been in the heart of 
evangelical Christendom for them. The reader will remem- 
ber how the soul of Cromwell was stirred to indignation by the 
accounts of what these people were enduring from the cruelty 
of Koine and its allies, and how he interposed for their relief, 
and wrote to the Protestant governments of Europe, asking 
them to join in their defense. But Protestantism was then 
weak, and power was on the side of the oppressors, and little 
could be done. At that hour Milton wrote his immortal 
prayer : 

"Avenge, O, Lord, thy slaughtered sairits, whose bones 

Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold ; 

Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old, 

"When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones. 

Forget not ; in thy book record their groans, 

Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold, 

Slain by the bloody Piedmontese, that rolled 

Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans 

The vales redoubled to the hills, and they 

To heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow 

O'er all the Italian fields where still doth sway 

The triple tyrant ; that from these may grow 

An hundred-fold, who, having learned thy way 

Early, may fly the Babylonian woe." 

The " bloody Piedmontese " whom he thus so justly character- 
ized were the cruel Duke of Savoy and his troops, urged on to 
this awful work by Pope Paul IT., and also Francis I., sovereign 
of Prance, who ordered his soldiers to " extirpate the Waldenses 
without mercy." How wonderful to note now who became the 
agents of the Lord's predicted mercy for these people ! First, 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 117 

the Duke of Savoy's descendant, Charles Albert, and then a suc- 
cessor of Francis I. on the throne of France, Napoleon III., was 
providentially constrained, by a way that he knew not, and did 
not choose, to close the temporal sovereignty of the pontiff, and 
to consent that the " States of the Church " should be added to 
complete Italy's unity ! Now the Waldenses worship in Rome, 
right in view of the Vatican ! Milton's prayer has been glo- 
riously answered, to the permanent peace and benefit of all con- 
cerned. The papacy still keeps up a tirade against modern 
civilization and its progress in the hope that the emancipated 
nations will some day regret their freedom and unite to crush 
the constitutional security of its former subjects and restore its 
misrule. Truly this illusion is unique and wonderful ! 

We have thus passed briefly in review for the better under- 
standing of our main subject the antecedent and contemporary 
facts by which the events in Mexico are to be understood. No 
unusual thing, in this sense, was happening to her ; she was only 
suffering from the conspiracy against freedom which had long 
afflicted the world on the other side of the Atlantic. If she 
had been able to take a comprehensive view of what was trans- 
piring in Europe, her hope of a blessed solution of her own 
trials would have been greatly strengthened. 

The Roman hierarchy, indignant at the losses which constitu- 
tional struggles in Europe had caused, in desperation deter- 
mined to make good its losses in the New World. To this end 
all its great resources were ready, and the plans were to be 
carried out regardless of public opinion or will. Here, then, 
we find the source of Mexico's latest struggle and recognize 
those with whom, she had to deal. 



118 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



CHAPTER Y. 

Desperate efforts of the Mexican clericals — Merits of the conflict — Coup d'etat of 
the church party — Terrorizing policy of Miramon — Violation of British em- 
bassy — Republican victories — Benito Juarez, Mexico's " Washington," and his 
aids — Perfidy of Louis Napoleon — Intervention — Co-operation of the pope — 
" Laws of reform " — Tripartite treaty — Jecker bonds — De Moray — Collapse 
of Jecker — " Cinco de Mayo " — Maximilian's call and warning. 

Santa Anna was recalled in 1S53 and appointed president 
" for one year, until a constitutional Congress could be convened 
and the future provided for." It soon became evident that 
the years of his exile had not been employed in learning lessons 
friendly to popular government or his country's peace under 
republican forms. The record of the past might have saved 
the Mexican patriots from the error of supposing that this 
" leopard " could change his characteristic " spots." In the 
twenty years that had passed since his first inauguration as pres- 
ident he had become as despotic as he had then sworn to be 
constitutional. 

Hardly was he seated in the presidential chair when he began 
to develop his real character. He proceeded to overthrow the 
federal republic, and announced himself on December 16, 1S53, 
as permanent dictator, and assumed the title of " Serene High- 
ness," with power to name his successor ! He recalled the 
Jesuits, whom the nation had previously expelled, knowing 
that they would work out zealously his projects for the church 
faction, and finished his desperate course by the crime against 
the Constitution of investing, on July 1, 1851:, Jose Gutierrez 
de Estrada with powers " to negotiate in Europe for the es- 
tablishment of a monarchy in Mexico," and this without any 
authorization from the nation ! This Senor Estrada, as the 
agent of the church party, was not new to such business. It 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 119 

was lie who in October, 1840, issued a pamphlet in Mexico ad- 
vocating the overthrow of the republican institutions and the 
establishment of a Mexican monarchy. Madame Calderon tells 
us of the excitement caused by this production. Estrada was 
compelled to exile himself to escape the vengeance of the gov- 
ernment. But he still proved true to his clerical affiliations, 
and ten years after this authorization by Santa Anna we find 
him heading the deputation which Avaited on Maximilian at 
Miramar, to offer him an imperial crown in Mexico.* 

Santa Anna brought about his own overthrow by one more 
despotic step in abolishing the Institute of Sciences in Oaxaca 
because of its liberal principles, and was compelled to fly, in 
August, 1855, to Cuba, and later to St. Thomas. He was tried 
once again for high treason, sentenced to be hanged, and his 
property confiscated. President Juarez afterward commuted 
the sentence to banishment for eight years. This was the end 
of his power, but not of his disturbing presence in Mexico. We 
shall hear from him again, in an aspect of deception which illus- 
trated still more fully the vileness of his character. 

The overthrow of Santa Anna carried down once more the un- 
scrupulous church party and sw T ept away the plan of Tacubaya, 
under which they acted. Estrada was not able to bring his 
royal prince to aid in time, and the nation was aroused to a 
sense of this new T conspiracy against its freedom. These various 
" plans" w r ere found to contain one fatal defect which the grow- 
ing liberty party now resolved to remedy. This was the attempt 
to build a free State without its foundation-stone. All the con- 
stitutions framed under the various " plans " retained the papal 
concordat as an item of the social compact. From 1822 to this 
time (1854) this excluded religious liberty. The highest of all 
liberty being denied, the remainder was not worth dying for. 
At last the true republican idea was embraced, the concordat 
abolished, and religious freedom was to be incorporated into a 
constitution under which the nation should find permanent 
peace. 

* Mexico and the United States, p. 276. The Fall of Maximilian 's Empire, Schroeder- 



120 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

General Alvarez, a true patriot, but aged and infirm, was 
elected president, and called Benito Juarez to his cabinet as 
secretary for the departments of justice, ecclesiastical affairs, 
and public instruction. Soon afterward there was issued a 
proclamation for the election of delegates to a national Con- 
gress, " for the purpose of reconstructing the nation under the 
form of a popular representative democratic republic." On 
the 22d of November, 1855, the celebrated law for the admin- 
istration of justice, known as the " Law of Juarez," was pro- 
claimed. This grand law abolished the whole system of class 
legislation, and was deeply resented by the clerical party. The 
Congress devoted a whole year to the task of framing a Consti- 
tution based on this law, and on the 3d of February, 1857, it 
" issued in the name of God, and by the authority of the Mexi- 
can people," the magnificent Constitution of which Mr. Seward 
said that he regarded it as the best instrument of its kind in the 
world. It may be found in Abbot's Mexico and the United 
States, p. 283. 

President Alvarez having been obliged to resign on account 
of increasing infirmities, General Comonfort was elected to the 
office. The implacable and still powerful church party pro- 
nounced against the Constitution. We present the leading prin- 
ciples of each of the parties in question, so that what they were 
fighting for may be made clear to the reader. 

The clerical platform was as follows : 

SYNOPSIS OF THE PLAN OF TACUBAYA PROCLAIMED BY ZULOAGA. 

1. The inviolability of all church, property and church revenues and 
the re-establishment of former exactions. 

2. The re-establishment of the fueros, or special rights of the church and 
of the army. (Under these fueros the military and clergy were responsible 
only to their own tribunals, and not to the law of the land.) 

3. The restoration of the Roman Catholic religion as the sole and exclu- 
sive religion of Mexico. 

4. The censorship of the press. 

5. The exclusive system with regard to foreign immigration, confining 
it solely to immigrants from Catholic countries. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 121 

6. The overthrow of the Constitution of 1857, and the establishment of 
an irresponsible central dictatorship, subservient solely to the Church. 

7. If possible, the restoration of a monarchy in Mexico, or the estab- 
lishment of a European protectorate. 

In contradistinction to this was the platform of the Repub- 
lican party, as follows : 

SYNOPSIS OF THE LIBERAL CONSTITUTION OP 1857. 

1. The establishment of a constitutional federal government in the place 
of a military dictatorship. 

2. Freedom and protection to slaves that enter the national territory. 

3. Freedom of religion. 

4. Freedom of the press. 

5. The nationalization of the $200, 000, 000 of property held by the clergy, 
from which, and other sources, the Church derives an annual income of 
not less than $20,000,000. 

6. The subordination of the army to the civil power and the abolition 
of military and ecclesiastical fueros, or special tribunals. 

7. The negotiation of commercial treaties of the fullest scope and liberal 
character, including reciprocity of trade on our frontiers. 

8. The colonization of Mexico by the full opening of every part of the 
country to immigration, and the encouragement of foreign enterpi"ise in 
every branch of industry, particularly in mining and in works of internal 
improvement.* 

The resources of wealth wielded by the church party were yet 
too strong for freedom, and Comonfort was compelled to retire 
in 1858. However, Juarez was soon elected to the presidency. 
Before he could assume the reins of government the clericals, led 
by the papal nuncio, Clementi, called the "Junta de Notables" 
(an aristocratic council of twenty-eight persons of their own 
choice), and sustained by a small body of the military, annulled 
the grand Constitution over which the whole country was re- 
joicing and proclaimed the plan of Tacubaya in its stead. 
They elected Zuloaga as their president, while the constitu- 
tional president was compelled to leave the capital and carry 
on his government at Guanajuato or Vera Cruz, protected by 
the loyal portion of the army, and being recognized and sus- 
* Mexico in 1861-62, by Dr. C. Lempriere, p. 37. London, 1862. 



122 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

tained by all the States of the Mexican Union save two, which 
were under the control of the clerical troops. Though this 
clerical government held only the cities of Mexico and Puebla 
and the country immediately surrounding them, they managed 
by their large financial resources to hold their position for 
three years* How the usurpation was accomplished and how it 
retained its hold of the capital for such a length of time needs 
explanations. Of all the despotic acts of the clerical party this 
was the most daring. Four men were chiefly used for the pur- 
pose, Gabriac, who represented France, Senor del Barrio, the 
Guatemalan minister, Senor Pacheco, from Spain, and Louis 
Clementi, the nuncio of the pope. The latter was the ruling 
spirit and inspired the others with the idea that it was the will 
of the pope, and of Almighty God through him, and was their 
positive duty, to render their service to the pontiff and the 
cause of religion. So firm was the stand which they took, though 
concealing the religious motive as well as they could, that the 
other foreign ministers stupidly allowed themselves to be led 
to recognize the usurpation of Zuloaga. This prolonged the 
situation, which otherwise could only have lasted for a few 
months. The clericals improved the opportunity to send em- 
bassadors to foreign courts, Almonte, the most detested of 
their agents, being sent as representative to the French court, 
where he was soon to plan, with Napoleon, so much suffering 
for his native land. These agents represented only a pronun- 
ciamento of traitors, not the lawful government of Mexico. 
President Juarez meanwhile issued protests against the legiti- 
macy of their actions, the nation became thoroughly aroused, 
while the facts began to find their way to foreign governments, 
so that one after another the embassadors of England, Prussia, 
and the United States were ordered away from the capital, and 
appeared at Yera Cruz to recognize President Juarez, our own 
representative, Mr. McLane, being the first to do so. 

The downfall of these traitors was approaching. The lie- 
publican army, ably led by such generals as Ortega and Uruaga, 
was augmenting and increasingly victorious. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 123 

The clericals were not long in discovering that Zuloaga was 
not exactly the man to do their work. Their purposes required 
an instrument with less conscience and more despotism. Zu- 
loaga was displaced and General Miguel Miramon was named 
by the junta as their president, on January 31, 1859. The 
character of this new instrument of papal power, as well as of 
Marquez, whom he made commander-in-chief, was eminently 
worthy of the party which sanctioned and approved of their 
conduct, both then and some years later, under Maximilian, when 
they repeated, only on a larger scale, these same outrages on the 
laws of war and of common humanity. In illustration of this 
we here quote an order of Miramon to the general-in-chief, 
issued after the battle of Tacubaya (in which the Republican 
troops were victorious), when the church president resolved 
that he would terrorize Mexico by authorizing assassination of 
all those who would lift their hands to help her into the posses- 
sion of constitutional freedom : 

Mexico, April 11, 1861. 

In the afternoon of to-day and under your excellency's most strict 
responsibility, your excellency will give the order for all the prisoners 
holding the grade of officers and chiefs to be shot, informing me of the 
number which have fallen under this lot. Miramon. 

Marquez at once followed this out by a proclamation to the 
nation itself, as follows : 

LEONARDO MARQUEZ TO THE PEOPLE OP MEXICO. 

Know ye, that in virtue of the faculties with which I am invested, I 
have resolved to publish the following decree : 

1. Benito Juarez, and all who have obeyed him or recognized his gov- 
ernment, are traitors to their country, as well as all who have aided him 
by any means, secretly or indirectly, no matter how insignificantly. 

2. All persons coming under the heads of the preceding article shall 
be shot immediately on their apprehension, without further investigation 
than the identification of their persons. Marquez.* 

This atrocious attempt to terrorize a whole people into obe- 
dience to a body of despots is the most awful fact up to this 
* Mexico in 1861-62, by C. Lempriere, p. 127. 



124 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

date in Mexican history. The clericals knew that the masses of 
the people were overwhelmingly against them, yet they author- 
ized these two men to work out their will, becoming guilty of 
the blood of their countrymen in order to serve those who pro- 
fessed to be ministers of God ! Nor was this all of which this 
pair of traitors proved themselves to be capable. At the close of 
1860 there was in deposit in the British Legation in the city of 
Mexico the sum of $660,000, which President Juarez had paid 
in on account of the English bond-holders^ debt. It was under 
the seal of the British embassador, who was then absent. 
Miramon and Marquez, who were on the eve of being thrust 
from the capital by the advancing Republican army, forcibly 
entered the legation, broke the seals, and carried off the money. 
The British government exonerated the government of Juarez 
and the Mexican people from blame for the outrage, but Mexico 
had to pay the amount over again notwithstanding. 

There was one government, however, which was in no haste 
to be undeceived, and which had ulterior ends to be served. 
This vile Miramon faction had negotiated a treaty through its 
agent at Paris, Juan 1ST. Almonte, which conferred advantages 
and recognized claims before refused by every liberal govern- 
ment of Mexico, and this to a very large amount. The consti- 
tutional government protested against this Almonte treaty as 
"unjust in its essence, foreign to the usage of nations in the 
principles it established, illegal in the manner in which it was 
negotiated, and contrary to the rights of the country." But it 
furnished Napoleon III. with just such a weapon as he wanted, 
and he gladly took its infamous author under his special pro- 
tection and resolved on a war whose injustice will be recognized 
as long as modern history is studied by honest men, and can 
never be forgotten by Mexico. 

As to how matters seemed to strike an intelligent stranger 
visiting the country at the time, we may quote a sentence 
from the work of Dr. Lempriere, fellow of St. John's Col- 
lege, Oxford, whose indignation was aroused to find that 
his own government was so completely deceived by the artful 



MEXICO IX TRANSITION. 125 

policy of the cabal then holding the city of Mexico. He 
writes thus : 

And yet at present England seems moving as the tool of such an unmiti- 
gated scoundrel as Miramon — a man whom, if there existed an extradition 
treaty, we should have insisted on being hung; Gabriac (the ultramontane 
French representative), the fosterer of this man's murderous rule, and 
Pacheco, both of whom have been hooted out of the country with well- 
merited and universal execration. These are the men who are moving the 
strings at Paris, with Almonte their able embassador. The clergy of 
France are in accord with their distressed and exiled brethren ; but who 
can explain the action of England? [He means in recognizing such a 
usurpation as the true government of Mexico.] We are aiding a power 
and establishing a religious dominion which is abhorrent to the mind of 
every honest Englishman.* 

He adds this note on Gabriac : 

In the papers of the Archbishop of Mexico (captured by the Liberals) was 
found a recommendation of this man to the prayers and favor of the pope 
for the valuable services he had rendered the clerical party in the revolu- 
tion of Mexico, and the recognition of Miramon, their champion. 

Another proof of the papacy being the life and soul of these 
reactionary measures against popular freedom, as much so as it 
had been against those of Italy and other lands already liberated 
from its despotism. 

During Miramon's absence at the head of his army the de- 
moralization in the city of Mexico was such that a document 
was drawn up and signed by the members of the diplomatic 
corps still remaining at the capital, with the exception of the 
Guatemalan minister and the nuncio, declaring that "there was 
no government existing at the capital." On the 23d of Decem- 
ber, 1860, Miramon returned to the city, escorted by only two 
or three aids, having been completely routed the day previous 
at Calpulalpam. The ministers of France and Spain tried to 
make terms for him with the advancing General Ortega, but he 
would not listen to them. So Miramon fled secretly, taking 
with him what remained of the English bond-holders' money, 
which he had stolen eight days before from the legation. The 

* Mexico in 1861-62, p. 9. 
11 



126 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

advanced portion of the constitutional army reached Mexico 
city the next day — Christmas day — and the government of 
Juarez was peacefully established in the National Palace on the 
11th of January, 1861. 

There was one more struggle to be endured ere the clerical 
party should submit to popular rule, and this the most deadly 
of all. The Spanish element here dropped from sight and 
was replaced by the French, or rather by the French emperor, 
for France would not have been guilty of such wrong against 
a feeble nation ; but for the following six years she had to 
see her sons and her resources employed to assassinate free- 
dom, the very form of freedom that she preferred above all 
others. 

The compromised clerical and military traitors fled from Mex- 
ico, fearing the vengeance of the Republican government. It 
is significant that they went directly to Paris, to the man who 
was already known as the protector of all such, and by whose 
army they were to be escorted back within a year to renew the 
cruel struggle against Mexican liberty. 

Three of the compromised diplomatic representatives re- 
solved to remain, perhaps not aware that their records were so 
well known to Juarez. They were Pacheco, del Barrio, and 
Clementi. Four days after the re-establishment of the govern- 
ment in the capital they were ordered to leave the country 
forthwith. Senor Ocampo, the secretary for foreign affairs, pre- 
pared a circular, stating the reasons for the action, which was 
sent to every legation where Mexico had a representative. 
What he said concerning the reasons for dementi's expulsion 
we will quote in full : 

Don Louis Clementi has held in this country the mission of nuncio 
from his holiness the pope. His disposition, and the general tone of the 
Roman Church which he has represented, has caused him to figure 
throughout the civil war as a partisan of the seditious clergy of the 
republic, who, to the greatest degree, have stained with blood the past 
revolution in this country, under the pretext of religion. 

Now that the Mexican republic has, in the exercise of its sovereign 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 127 

power, declared religious liberty, and the absolute independence of each 
other of Church and State, the official representative of the Roman Church 
can have no mission whatever to the general government of the republic. 

OCAMPO.* 

It is sad to add of this worthy minister Ocampo, one of the 
most disinterested patriots of the land, that within three years, 
when Maximilian was emperor and the clericals had induced 
him to employ Miramon and Marquez as generals, they took 
the first opportunity to be revenged. He had retired from 
public life and was living in his private residence in the coun- 
try, when Miramon came upon him with his army and brutally 
murdered him, after torturing him for two days. The full 
account is given in the Libro Bojo. 

Let us contemplate the man, the most remarkable in every 
respect that Mexico has yet produced, Benito Juarez, one of 
Montezuma's race, without a drop of Spanish blood in his 
veins, often affectionately styled in Mexico "our little Indian," 
being small in stature. "We call attention to his portrait on the 
frontispiece of this work, taken from a life-size painting which 
hangs in the place of honor in the "Hall of Embassadors," in 
the National Palace, which is regarded as the best in existence 
of this patriot, whom Castelar called " the saviour of the honor 
of his country." Juarez was born in 1806, in the little Indian 
village of San Pablo Guelatao, twenty miles north-east of the 
city of Oaxaca. His early years were passed in the quiet of 
the little hamlet, serving as shepherd for his uncle's flocks. 
His parents having died, leaving him in care of relatives, at the 
age of twelve he went to a sister living in Oaxaca, where for 
the first time he began to learn Spanish and to study under 
the care of a worthy citizen named Perez, who recognized the 
ability of the lad. Another kind merchant, Senor Diego Chavez, 
encouraged him to enter the seminary of Oaxaca, from which he 
graduated with honors. A friendly Franciscan monk urged him 
to enter the priesthood, but his liberal ideas inclined him to a 
political career, and therefore he pursued the law course in the 
* Mexico in 1861-62, p. 9. 



128 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Institute of Sciences, being admitted to the bar in 1834. Before 
this lie had become somewhat prominent in his advocacy of 
liberal ideas and reforms, and suffered imprisonment during 
one of the terms when the Conservative party was in power. In 
1842 he was elected chief -justice of his native State, and when 
the Governor of Oaxaca resigned, being unable to quell a revo- 
lution raised by the clericals on account of a proposition to 
despoil them of some of their possessions in order to defend the 
State from the invasion of the American army in 1847, Juarez 
was placed in power, and for the ensuing five years governed 
most acceptably, bringing the finances of the State to a better 
condition, encouraging reforms, and making the State the most 
prosperous of the Mexican Union. 

In 1853 he was exiled by Santa Anna, on account of his lib- 
eral views, and took up his residence in New Orleans, where 
lie lived in great poverty, but gaining strength for the future 
conflict from the study of our institutions and our leaders. 
Washington and Bolivar were his heroes. Two years later 
he joined Alvarez in a revolution against Santa Anna's despotic 
rule, and on its success he was again brought into power as 
minister of justice under President Alvarez. His first act was 
to abolish the special military and clerical courts, which had so 
long removed these two classes from the power of the national 
law. In 1858 he became president, and we shall follow him as 
we note the events of the country's history. 

His family life was of the happiest nature. No shadow of 
injustice or wrong dims the luster of his name. In his vari- 
ous prominent positions many opportunities must have pre- 
sented themselves for him to gain wealth at the expense of the 
nation, but he was superior to such temptations and died a 
comparatively poor man. 

How he impressed a stranger is admirably given in the de- 
scription of Colonel G. S. Church, of the United States, who 
visited him at Chihuahua during the French intervention : 

Pushing aside the curtains from the door of an interior room a quiet, 
unassuming man advances to meet you. A courteous greeting, a frank 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 129 

grasp of the hand, and a cordial invitation to be seated place you at once 
at your ease, and you prepare to study the Indian before you. He is, 
perhaps, five feet five inches in height, thick set, and -with a broad, full 
chest, which gives him a powerful vitality. A bold rounded and high 
forehead, very slightly receding from a vertical line, eyes large and 
swimming in liquid blackness, finely cut eyebrows, arched and curving 
far back, a goodly development of practical as well as theoretical brain. 
While at rest his Indian features do not show the power behind them; 
but once kindled to action the brain illuminates every one of them, and 
the black eyes flash a peculiar light, as if to give more forcible expression 
to his language. A quiet, unyielding determination and a firm reliance 
upon self are the impressions you gain of him upon acquaintance. You 
converse upon politics, and you find that your ideas are not more thor- 
oughly republican than his; you speak of war, and his military knowledge 
meets you half-way; you turn to political economy and find that you pro- 
pose nothing that he has not analyzed, and you finally leave him with the 
impression that you have met one of the ablest men that Mexico has pro- 
duced.* 

Such was the man on whom had already fallen the heaviest 
burden of responsibility and care for his country's freedom 
that had probably ever rested on a patriot's heart. How well 
and conscientiously he bore it, and to what victory he carried it, 
this record will soon show. If our space had permitted it 
would have been a pleasure to have presented a view of the 
noble men who stood so faithfully by him to the last through 
that "great fight of afflictions," and who were, in the mercy of 
God, spared to share his triumph. Prominent among these 
was Matias Romero, his worthy and distinguished representative 
at Washington, who so faithfully and laboriously sustained his 
duties as embassador of Mexico. Few have any adequate idea 
of the toil demanded from one tilling the position of Mexican 
representative during the events of the Intervention. Senor 
Romero had not only the usual diplomatic duties resting upon 
him, but had also to be on the alert to collect the archives of the 
governments of England, France, Spain, Austria, and the Holy 
See in regard to the Mexican Empire, so called, and to make this 
information available for his government and also for the Presi- 

* Historical and Political Review of Mexico, by Col. G. S. Church. 



130 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

dent of the United States. It was necessary to liave the truth 
concerning Mexico published in order to counteract the false 
statements of the press agents of the empire ; to purchase arms 
and munitions of war and charter steamers to convey them to 
ports where they could be safely entered ; to print Mexican 
bonds and negotiate them in the market, and to make contracts 
for other purposes as well as being the medium of intercourse 
to and from the outside world for all matters, postal and other- 
wise. Senor Romero has been honored almost ever since by 
his grateful country, by keeping him in his important position. 

The cabinet of Juarez also deserve mention for their loyalty 
during the dark period from 1862 to 1867. We can but name 
these patriots : Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, secretary of state ; 
Jose Maria Yglesias, minister of the interior ; Ignacio Mejia, 
minister of war ; and Ignacio Mariscal, minister of justice. 
And the brave military chiefs who served their country with 
such valor, Zaragoza, Escobedo, Porfirio Diaz, Salazar, Arteaga, 
Trevifio, Corona, and others, deserve honorable mention for 
their services to the cause of freedom in Mexico. 

Before proceeding with our narrative let us consider the 
man who was to be for the ensuing five years the controlling 
impulse of all the wrong which liberty was to suffer from his 
" Intervention." This picture here given well expresses the 
sinister character of the man whom Mexico especially has rea- 
son to hold in abhorrence through all her future life. What a 
record has he left behind for the world to study! We abridge 
a few sentences from Hugo's summary of his earlier life : 
Charles Louis Napoleon was born in Paris, on the 20th of April, 
1808, the son of Ilortense de Beauharnais and Louis Napoleon, 
then King of Holland, and brother of Napoleon I. This youth 
commenced his varied career by scheming in his own interest 
for the overthrow of the French monarchy, on the 30th of Oc- 
tober, 1836, at Strasburg, being then twenty-eight years of age. 
This abortive attempt was pardoned by King Louis Philippe, 
with the understanding that Louis Napoleon was to exile himself 
to the United States. But before two years had expired he 




LOUIS NAPOLEON, 

Who devised and carried out the " Intervention " in Mexico. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 131 

violated his parole and returned from America to Switzerland. 
Finding that the French government was made uneasy by his 
return, he wrote assuring them " that he lived almost alone in 
the house where his mother died, and that his firm desire was to 
remain quiet." They supposed he meant what he said, but his 
characteristic duplicity manifested itself when on the 20th of 
August, 1840 — only two years after giving his solemn pledge 
to the government — he landed at Boulogne at the head of sixty 
followers (disguised as French soldiers). He carried a gilt eagle 
on the top of a flag-staff, with a live eagle in a cage, and a 
large supply of proclamations pronouncing for an empire. As 
he and his curious following advanced up the street he flung 
money to the passers-by, and, elevating his hat on the point of 
his sword, cried out, " Yive l'Empereur ! " Meeting with no 
favorable response, he fled, but was captured and condemned 
to imprisonment for life in the fortress of Ham, from which, 
disguised as a working mason, he escaped six years afterward 
and took refuge in England. 

In 1848 the French monarchy fell and a republic was pro- 
claimed. Professing to lay aside his imperial aspirations, he 
returned to France and offered himself as a representative of the 
people in the Constitutional Assembly. "When elected he made a 
display of his pretended democratic sentiments, saying, " All my 
life shall be consecrated to the strengthening of the republic." 
Though some were suspicious of him he was elected president. 
On the 20th of December he took the oath, and as the presi- 
dent of the Assembly uttered the formula, " In the presence 
of God, and before the French people, I swear to remain faith- 
ful to the democratic republic, one and indivisible, and to ful- 
fill all the duties which the Constitution imposes upon me," 
Louis Napoleon raised his right hand and said, " I swear it." 
He then voluntarily added : 

The suffages of the nation and the oath which I have just taken com- 
mand my future conduct. My duty is traced. I will fulfill it as a man of 
honor. I will see enemies of the country in all those who would try to 
change by illegal means what France entire has established. 



132 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

The president of the Assembly replied, " We call God and 
man to witness the oath which has just been taken." 

They expected he would be true to this pledge. The Consti- 
tution, which he swore he would maintain, contained among 
other articles these : 

Article 36. The representatives of the people are inviolable. 

Article 37. They cannot be arrested on a criminal charge save in case of fla- 
grant misdemeanor, norj^rosecuted except after the Assembly has permitted. 

Article 68. Every measure by which the president of the republic dis- 
solves the National Assembly, or places obstacles in the way of the 
execution of its decrees, is a crime of high treason. By this sole act 
the president is suspended from his functions. 

On December 2, 1851, less than three years after the mem- 
orable oath was taken, he proclaimed, " The National Assembly 
is dissolved ; the first military division is placed in a state of 
siege ; the council of state is dissolved." 

To this terrible record of the highest treason against a whole 
nation by this perjured adventurer the historian adds the fol- 
lowing dreadful record, in which one would fain hope that 
there may be some exaggeration, as the account was written so 
close to the events — only a few weeks after — and under the 
fearful pressure of that coup d'etat. But it must be confessed 
that the judgment of charity thus intimated finds little con- 
firmation of its hope in the subsequent career of this man either 
in France, Rome, or, above all, in Mexico. The historian adds: 

At the same time Paris learned that fifteen of the "inviolable" repre- 
sentatives of the people had been arrested in their homes during the night 
by order of Louis Napoleon. In the days following he seized the execu- 
tive power, made an attempt on the legislative power, drove away the As- 
sembly, expelled the high court of justice, took twenty-five millions from 
the bank, gorged the army with gold, raked Paris with grape-shot, and 
terrorized France. He proscribed eighty-four of the representatives of the 
people, decreed despotism in fifty-eight articles under the title of a con- 
stitution; garroted the republic, made the sword of France a gag in the 
mouth of liberty, transported to Africa and Cayenne ten thousand Demo- 
crats, exiled forty thousand Republicans, placed in all souls grief and on 
all foreheads blushes.* 

* The Destroyer of the Second Bejmblic, by Yictor Hugo, 1852, p. 29, etc. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 133 

How significant it is that this violent change from a free 
republic to a despotic empire was quickly indorsed by the 
hierarchy of Rome and the pope, and that neither is on record 
as having uttered one word of protest against the overthrow of 
the government of the people or the acts of treason by which 
it was consummated ! It is equally significant that the first per- 
son to congratulate him on the complete success of his move 
was the Countess Montijo, who was already known as being 
under Jesuit influence, intensely bigoted, and to whom he was 
soon afterward married. The church party could now rejoice 
that they had an emperor and that he was suitably mated for 
their purposes. Yictor Hugo seems justified in his assertion 
that " Louis Napoleon had on his side the clergy, from the 
highest to the lowest, in the coup d'etat." 

Almonte, the embassador of the clerical party of Mexico, 
found in Napoleon a ready listener-tohis wicked statements con- 
cerning Mexico, that it was " monarchical to the core," only held 
back from expressing its preferences by a faction of Republicans 
"without character, who were stained by crimes and oppres- 
sions of the worst kind," and that it would be a highly meri- 
torious and Christian act for some power to intervene to free 
Mexico from her oppressors, and give her an opportunity to 
express her preferences, which, he said, " she would do 
promptly and gratefully." Louis Napoleon was eager for just 
such a chance, now outlined as desirable. We have already 
seen what his apologist, the Abbe Domenech, admitted as to 
the ultimate object of Napoleon's intervention in Mexican 
affairs, and how he fondly anticipated that the results would so 
redound to his fame as to be afterward regarded as " the 
crowning event of the nineteenth century," and Mexico was 
but the stepping-stone to this consummation. He was already 
being dispossessed of the idea that he could emulate his uncle's 
fame and become the dictator of Europe, to give away thrones 
and dominions. Probably he imagined he could gain in the New 
World what was eluding his grasp in the Old. He knew he 
could use the papacy in aid of his purpose, by having an under- 



134 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

standing with the pope, and that he could calculate on Spanish 
aid in view of the compensation he could render her in South 
America. We find both these influences co-operating with him 
in the project. The intervention in Mexico was to be an entering 
wedge to split up the democracy of America and found a mo- 
narchical System upon its ruins. Similar work south of Mexico 
would have been comparatively easy. With our United States 
divided by civil war, and the presence of an aristocratic ele- 
ment in the Confederacy, the bribe of a restored slavocracy 
might have had an immense influence in reconciling the South- 
ern States to a monarchical system, which could have been mild 
at first, and less constitutional later. How long could the North 
have held her own under such circumstances ? With her mill- 
ions of Romanists acting as a unit under priestly guidance, and 
a doubtful papal immigration (and the reader will remember 
that immigration, avowed by the Duke of Richmond, is hinted 
at by Domenech as part of Napoleon's plan) pouring in upon us, 
soon gaining the " balance of power," then, alas ! might soon 
have come a long farewell to freedom and republican govern- 
ment on this continent. 

But there is a divine providence in human affairs, however 
much such men as Napoleon choose to ignore it, and we were 
under its blessed care. 

On his restoration to Mexico city President Juarez set him- 
self zealously to establish order and carry out the enactments of 
the Congress, especially in regard to the financial condition of 
the country. When he and his cabinet reached the capital they 
found the treasury empty, so the continuation of the seculariza- 
tion and sale of the unused church property became a necessity. 
The hierarchy had previously been requested to consider the 
situation and to relinquish a portion of their large possessions 
that they did not require, but without avail. Even the Abbe 
Domenech admits that they were blind to refuse such a com- 
promise. The sales, though slow at first, brought into the public 
treasury within a year the sum of $5,000,000,* and confirmed 
* La Corte de Roma y el Emperador Maximiliano. Mexico, 18*70. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 135 

the purpose of the Liberals to thus utilize a portion of this vast 
property. 

The pope issued his expostulations and sustained the Mexi- 
can bishops in their resistance to the law until two of them — - 
the Bishops of Puebla and of Guadalajara — were exiled by the 
government for rebellious interference. As a last resource the 
pope issued an allocution declaring, " We condemn, disavow, 
and declare absolutely null and void and of no effect all the 
decrees above mentioned, and all the acts which the civil power 
in Mexico has done, in contempt of the ecclesiastical authority 
of the holy see." He then expresses " the deep grief of his 
soul " over these principles, and closes by threatening the " pen- 
alties and censures " which he holds against " these usurpers 
of the rights of the holy see." He utters a similar jeremiad 
against South America, as "following the sad example of the 
Liberals of Mexico." * 

The leaders of Mexico, instead of heeding the pope's nullifi- 
cation, shrugged their shoulders and went on witli the good 
work of building up the welfare of the nation. Mexico and 
South America were not doing a deed unknown in any other 
nation, as the papal lamentation might lead one to believe, 
but they were doing what England, France, Italy, Portugal, 
Germany, and nearly all the other States of Christendom 
had already done. Of the nationalization of ecclesiastical 
property, and abolition of monastic institutions, European 
history is full, from Magna Charta and King John down 
to our days in Italy. Mackenzie puts the facts in regard 
to France : 

The possessions of the Church, amounting to one third of all the soil of 
France, were seized. Henceforth the priests were to be paid their pain- 
fully reduced salaries by the State. The Church held property valued 
at £80,000,000 ($400,000,000), and yielding an annual revenue of over 
£3,000,000 ($15,000,000), all of which was appropriated by the State 
in its necessity in the period when it abolished feudalism and privilege 
and laid the foundations of French freedom. The nation afterward safe- 
guarded her rights and limited the interference of the pope and the 
* Christian World, vol. xiv, p. 195. 



136 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Church in matters of state by a dictated concordat, which is to-day her 
defense against ecclesiastical aggressions. (P. 5.) 

And in the same way Magna Charta, wrested by the liberty- 
loving and sturdy barons of England from that papal tyrant 
and coward, King John, proved the sure foundation of English 
freedom, notwithstanding the thunders of excommunication 
which Pope Innocent III. hurled against the barons and their 
Charta, and his foolish attempt to hand over the English king- 
dom to Philip of France, as well as absolving John from all 
obligation of fidelity to the solemn signature which he had 
affixed to the great document. 

No wonder that when the French troops and their officers 
reached Mexico, in 1864, and heard the complaints of the church 
party against the Republicans on these grounds, they were 
amazed, knowing well, as they did, that their own country had 
done the very same things with the papal Church and its over- 
grown wealth and monastic orders, and in doing so had laid the 
foundations of the liberties and greatness of France. It was 
equally a matter of surprise to the Abbe Domenech, and for 
the same reasons. Mexico and South America could thus 
quote a score of precedents to justify their actions in all that 
they did, and yet the pope in this allocution bitterly denounced 
Mexico as if her government and legislative action were unprec- 
edented and unjust. 

It is surprising how legally the statesmen of Mexico moved 
in their measures to build up the condition of their country 
on right foundations. Even in this very matter, where to the 
superficial observer they might seem to be depending alone 
on power, they kept within the clear limits of the accepted 
usages and law which govern such cases. There is probably 
no higher authority on the "Law of Nations" than Emerich 
Yattel, of Switzerland, and no commentator on English law 
superior to Sir "William Blackstone. Both of these jurists 
lay down rules which vindicate the actions of the popular 
government of Mexico in the demands which they made on 
the vast ecclesiastical property. Blackstone says : 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 137 

The priests would have engulfed all the real estate of England. It 
took centuries to protect and perfect the nation against their rapacity 
and schemes to avoid the statutes. 

And Yattel covers the whole question arising out of this con- 
dition of affairs in the following rule : 

Ear from the goods of the Church being exempted because they are 
consecrated to God, it is for that very reason that they should be the first 
taken for the welfare of the State. There is nothing more agreeable to 
the common Father of men than to preserve a nation from destruction. 
As God has no need of property the consecration of goods to him is their 
devotion to such purposes as are pleasant to him. Besides, the property 
of the Church, by the confession of the clergy themselves, is chiefly des- 
tined for the poor; and when the State is in want it is, doubtless, the 
first pauper and the worthiest of succor. 

To carry out the provision and purposes of the national Con- 
stitution and guard the liberties which it guarantees, enact- 
ments of the legislature, called " Laws of Reform," were issued. 
We will here enumerate the leading items of these laws, issued 
by the secretary of state : 

The complete separation of Church and State. 

Congress cannot pass laws establishing or prohibiting any religion. 

The free exercise of religious services. The State will not give official 
recognition to any religious festivals, save the Sabbath, as a day of rest-. 

Religious services are to be held only within the place of worship. 

Clerical vestments are forbidden in the streets. 

Religious processions are forbidden. 

The use of church-bells is restricted to calling the people to religious 
work. 

Pulpit discourses advising disobedience to the law, or injury to any 
one, are strictly forbidden. Worship in churches shall be public only. 

Gifts of real estate to religious institutions are unlawful, with the sole 
exception of edifices designed exclusively to the purposes of the insti- 
tution. 

The State does not recognize monastic orders nor permit their estab- 
lishment. 

The association of Sisters of Charity is suppressed in the republic, and 
Jesuits are expelled and may not return. 

Matrimony is a civil contract and to be duly registered. The religious 
service may be added. 



138 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Cemeteries are under civil inspection and open for the burial of all 
classes and creeds. 

No one can sign away their liberty by contract or religious vow. 
Education in the public schools is free and compulsory. 

This synopsis of the " Laws of Reform" represents the action 
of the Mexican Congress on the 12th of February, 1857, with 
the amendments of the same of September, 1873, and the cir- 
cular issued by the Interior Department January 15, 1877. 

In view of the conspiracy to overthrow the republic and to 
establish a monarchy a special law was passed in 1862, making 
a capital crime of 

Invitations given by Mexicans, or by foreigners resident in the republic, 
to subjects of other powers, to invade the national territory or change 
the form of government the republic has adopted, whatever the pretext 
set up. 

Yet within three months after the enactment of this law 
Almonte and his associates left Paris for Mexico and were re- 
ceived with honor by the French military chiefs at Vera Cruz, 
given the protection of their flag and an escort of two thousand 
cavalry, thus violating the statutes of the land, which they pre- 
tended they had come in a friendly spirit to establish. 

The pretense under which that army and the forces of En- 
gland and Spain were sent to Mexico was the " tripartite 
treaty," reached at the convention of London, and signed by 
the three powers on the 31st of October, 1861, for the accom- 
plishment of common objects in Mexico. The necessity for 
such a convention had been well worked up by the representa- 
tive of Napoleon in Mexico, M. Saligny, who all through, like 
Shylock, mercilessly insisted upon having his " pound of flesh," 
no matter how much blood came with it. In the unsettled 
condition of Mexico by the intrigues and pronunciamentos 
of the clerical party during these years, society was disturbed 
and wrongs were perpetrated, by forced loans, highway rob- 
bery, and otherwise ; and foreigners shared in these imposts, 
Frenchmen among them, of course. Saligny trumped up a 
heavy list of these inflictions against the Republican govern- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 139 

merit and demanded heavy indemnities for each case. While 
admitting some of them the government declared the majority- 
were without foundation, and asked for the proofs, which Sa- 
ligny could not furnish. He resented all attempts to require 
evidence of his French claims, and his master backed him up in 
his demands. 

Let it also be remembered that these forced loans and other 
criminalities were not inflicted by the Republican party, but by 
their bitter foes during the brief terms in which from time to 
time they held power, and yet that all of these were saddled 
upon the Republican government when restored, which had to 
pay these exactions, as in the case where Miramon robbed the 
British Legation of the $600,000. Another item of the claim 
was made out of the debts due to foreigners who had lent Mex- 
ico money in her emergencies, at enormous rates of interest, 
and these debts she did not deny, save when fictitious claims 
were added to them, as in the case of the " Jecker bonds." 
The Mexican government, on its restoration to power, finding 
the treasury empty, and being unable to raise money sufficient, 
postponed payment of the interest on outside debts for two 
years, promising then to resume payment. In the business 
world such a concession is constantly made by creditors toward 
those who only want ' time ' to enable them to recover, espe- 
cially when the parties thus favored have hitherto met their ob- 
ligations faithfully. But Mexico, on which now rested the duty 
of self-preservation, which in a nation is certainly for the time 
being superior to the obligation to pay debts, was now to real- 
ize no mercy from hard-hearted men who took her by the 
throat, saying, " Pay me what thou owest ! " though she 
pleaded^ " Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all." 
M. Saligny had circulated the false and cruel impression that 
she could but would not. Hence England and Spain were led 
blindfolded into " the London Convention," only to be unde- 
ceived a year after, when their commissioners reached Mexico 
and ascertained the truth from interviews with Senor Doblado, 

President Juarez's secretary of state. England and Spain 
12 



140 MEXICO IX TRANSITION. 

freely gave Mexico tlie time she required, and their claims 
were recognized to be paid, principal and interest. 

As we examine this unworthy transaction there is revealed an 
unexampled rascality. Government documents furnished by 
Mexico present the facts of her indebtedness with detailed 
statements^ of what had been paid these three nations, and what 
she still owed to each when they invaded her soil. Apart from 
the Jecker claim, the diplomatic correspondence shows, quoting 
a dispatch of Sir Charles "Wyke that was laid before Parlia- 
ment, " the French have only a small debt of $190,856 to re- 
cover, which is being paid off by twenty-five per cent, of the 
import duties levied at Yera Cruz." The first thing that Saligny 
did when he left his legation at the capital and came down to 
meet the French force, to guide its action, was to advise the 
French commander to seize the custom-house and appropriate 
its income to meet the French claims, so that it is likely 
that almost all had been paid ere Sir Charles wrote his dis- 
patch. Saligny contended, however, that the claims of the 
" Jecker bonds " should be added to the French debt, and the 
Mexican government had to submit. After a full investi- 
gation they decided that all that could be honestly claimed by 
France for the debt, the indemnities due to French subjects for 
losses during the revolutions, for interest, and the Jecker bonds 
was $2,859,917. So her debts to the three nations were shown 
to be, "to British subjects, $69,311,657; to Spanish subjects, 
$9,461,986, and to the French the smallest sum of all, $2,859,- 
917." France was then the nation which had the least motive 
to make war on Mexico. Napoleon's object was not merely the 
settlement of the claim, but he sought a pretext for a quarrel 
with Mexico for the accomplishment of ulterior purposes. 
When the English and Spanish commissioners understood this 
they withdrew from the country, leaving Saligny to push the 
outrageously magnified Jecker bonds, which Napoleon was 
confident they could force to payment. 

M. Jecker was a Swiss speculator who went to Mexico and 
assumed the role of a banker during the period when Miramon 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 141 

and the clericals held the capital. The ready money of the 
party running low, Jecker made the most of the opportunity. 
He could furnish $750,000 cash, and securities amounting, appar- 
ently, to $740,000 more, in all $1,490,428. "For this amount 
the reactionary government issued paper to the value of $15,- 
000,000, at six per cent, annually, and fundable in eight or ten 
years." A large part of the issue was made available " for the 
value on their face at the custom-houses in Mexico, in the pro- 
portion of a fifth of their exhibits, M. Jecker to pay the bearer 
interest at three per centum." * 

Merchants who bought up these bonds were soon to realize 
how Miramon had deceived them when they began to present 
them for duties. The constitutional president, on learning of 
their issue, had proclaimed them illegal and worthless, and 
not a custom-house in Mexico would accept them. Merchants 
turned to the French Legation, on the ground that France had 
recognized the Miramon party as the government of Mexico, 
and a plot was raised to include these bonds as part of the 
French claims against the Juarez government and to demand 
payment for the full amount on their face. Just then it was 
discovered that Jecker was not a French subject, and therefore 
his bonds could not legally be included in French claims ; but 
the rogues were not to be defeated, and an effort was made to 
naturalize him and leave the date of the nefarious deed in the 
background. Before the naturalization papers could arrive 
from France two packets of secret correspondence between 
Jecker and his representatives in Paris fell into the hands of 
the Republican troops, were forwarded to the president, and 
the villainous conspiracy was revealed. They stated, among 
other things, how the conspirators were manufacturing public 
opinion in Europe, how much they were afraid of the coming 
of Pacheco, the embassador of Juarez, who would be sure to 
expose their baseness, of their efforts to get the naturalization 
papers to Jecker, and how they " showed your letters to his 
majesty," and speak of their intercourse with " the duke," 

* Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 1863, pp. 239, 249. 



142 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

called in one place " the new duke," which soon identified the 
person intended, who was so deeply interested in the success of 
the Jecker claims. 

Who was this person so high at court, thus mysteriously 
named as "near the throne," who had so much at stake in these 
fraudulent " transactions ? Only a few knew when the dis- 
patches were written, but recently it has been given to the 
world. The new duke referred to was the Count de Morny, 
illegitimate half-brother of the French emperor. When a 
child he was given into the custody of a Frenchman by name of 
de Morny, who had his home in the West Indies. His mother 
left him 40,000 francs, which was intrusted to the guardian, 
who scpiandered it in gambling. When the young man be- 
came of age he was penniless, but returned to France and en- 
tered the army, developing soon the sharp points of his character. 
He and Louis Napoleon had never yet met, but Napoleon 
heard of him as a suitable instrument for his purposes in the 
coup d'etat which he was then contemplating. He was brought 
to Paris and proved just the conscienceless personage such as 
Napoleon wanted to aid in this great crime against the re- 
public. When he had proclaimed himself emperor the traitors 
who shared in the iniquitous plan were rewarded, De Morny's 
share being money, which he much coveted, and the life-presi- 
dency of the Corps Legislatif. A more mercenary man never 
held office. His extravagance earned for him the title of- " the 
Magnificent Spendthrift." It is asserted that " his great crime 
w r as in taking money from all sides, all parties, all men." While 
president of the Corps Legislatif he was " known to receive a 
yearly subsidy from the Viceroy of Egypt for certain reasons." 
Napoleon made him a duke while Miramon was the clerical 
party's President of Mexico, and when the chance arose to 
make a few millions out of these infamous Jecker bonds this 
unprincipled man demeaned himself still further by stooping 
to imite with Jecker and Miramon to organize the scheme to 
float these worthless bonds and to force their payment in full 
on Mexico, while his half-brother seized upon them as an ad- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 143 

ditional pretext to carry out his ulterior purposes in America. 
They were worthy of each other in the wicked use they made 
of power.* 

When our civil war broke out the French emperor deemed 
that the time had come for the development of his purposes in 
America. The convention of London was arranged, and the 
allied fleet arrived at Vera Cruz in December, 1861. There 
was some surprise felt on finding that England had no soldiers, 
only seven hundred marines as a guard of honor for her rep- 
resentative, and Spain but a few soldiers, while France had 
nearly seven thousand men fully prepared for aggressive move- 
ments. The Spanish commissioner was General Prim, the En- 
glish, Sir Charles Wyke, and the French, M. E. Jurien. They 
opened negotiations with the government of President Juarez, 
professing solemnly over their respective signatures that the 
object of their coming was entirely pacific, without any inten- 
tion of interference with the form of government preferred by 
the nation, but they were there only as "lookers-on, to preside 
at the grand spectacle of your regeneration, guaranteed by 
order and liberty." They then gently intimate that they also 
seek " satisfaction for outrages inflicted, and sacred obligations 
that have not been discharged," but assert that the other is the 
higher object of their coming. 

To this President Juarez replied that, while obliged to them 
for their interest in the welfare of the country, he was not con- 
scious that Mexico needed any intervention for the regulation 
of her affairs, being competent to manage for herself; but in 
regard to any claims, he was willing to hear and consider them, 
and that they could appoint commissioners on their part, who 
should be met by others from him, and the cases be considered. 
He did more ; for on the commissioners informing him that 
their men were suffering from sickness on account of the heat 
and climate, and would soon be liable to the yellow fever, so 

* Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 1863, part i, p. 239, etc. The 
Cosmopolitan, May, 1890. Christian Woi-ld, vol. xvii, p. 72. Diplomatic Corre- 
spondence Presented to Parliament, 1862, pp. 602-614. 



144 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

common in Yera Cruz during the heated term, and requesting 
his permission to move up to the mountain region where they 
would be exempt, the president kindly granted this conces- 
sion as soon as the allies would agree upon its conditions. This 
led without delay to what is called " the Convention of Soledad " 
(twenty-six miles from Yera Cruz), where the commissioners pro- 
ceeded and were met by the secretary of state. A conference 
was agreed to, to be held at Orizaba, up in the mountains and 
eighty-two miles from Yera Cruz, where it was comfortable 
and healthy, and during the negotiations the troops might be 
brought up and allowed to occupy the towns of Cordova, Ori- 
zaba, and Tehuacan. The fourth article stipulated : 

That it may not be believed, even remotely, that the allies have signed 
those preliminaries in order to procure the passage of the fortified posi- 
tions garrisoned by the Mexican army, it is stipulated that, in the unhappy 
event of the rupture of negotiations, the forces of the allies shall evacuate 
the aforesaid towns and situate themselves in the line which is before 
said fortifications on the way to Vera Cruz. 

The fifth article provided that in these unfortunate circum- 
stances " the hospitals that the allies may have shall remain 
under the safe-guard of the Mexican nation." 

These fortifications were places of great natural strength and 
could easily be defended by even a small force. The president 
could not then dream that any of the persons whom he had 
thus treated with such candor and kindness would prove un- 
worthy or unfaithful to this fourth article, after having accepted 
and signed it. 

As the negotiations progressed the bad faith of the French 
began its development and introduced confusion, and at last 
involved defeat of the entire effort. The first of these was the 
announcement that General Miramon and staff were on the ex- 
pected English mail steamer with the intention of renewing the 
civil war which had only just died out after the three years' 
bloody struggle. It was also ascertained that a party of church 
troops, with horse and munitions, were awaiting him above to 
enable him to penetrate into the interior. The commissioners 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 145 

discussed the situation, and the majority were for preventing 
him from landing, while the English Commodore Dunlop de- 
clared he would " arrest him for having robbed the British 
Legation if he lands while our flag is flying here." It was 
very significant that Saligny " earnestly protested in the name 
of his government against any such thing being attempted." 
Nor could he be moved by the consideration urged by the 
British and Spanish commissioners, that to allow Miramon to 
land, and thus invade the country with an expedition of his 
own, would utterly disgust the Liberal government with whom 
they were treating and lead it and the nation to infer that the 
allied commissioners must be in collusion with that traitor to per- 
mit him to land where their flags were flying. So Dunlop, not- 
withstanding Saligny's protest, two days after, when the packet 
arrived, had Miramon arrested and returned to Havana by 
the next steamer, and the difficulty ended for a time. 

The English and Spanish claims for indemnity were accepted 
by the Mexican commissioners without any difficulty. They 
were recognized and placed on file to be discharged as soon as 
possible. But when the French claims were presented the 
commissioners were simply amazed, and especially when the 
" Jecker bonds " were introduced and full recognition de- 
manded for them. No wonder that the English and Spanish 
commissioners were astounded when demand was made by Sa- 
ligny for their recognition to the full amount of the $15,000,000 1 
In common honesty the government of Juarez did not owe 
Jecker a single dollar. "When Miramon fled from the city on 
the approach of the national troops, and President Juarez had 
arrived, he was soon after called on by Jecker, who claimed 
to be under the protection of the French Legation. Under 
the supposition that the president was intimidated by the In- 
tervention and would yield any thing, Jecker made a demand 
for the payment of the bonds issued by the fugitive clerical 
president on the plea that ''one government must be held 
responsible for the acts and obligations of the other." This 
Juarez refused to do. A parallel case would have been orig- 



146 MEXICO IN -TRANSITION. 

inated had Jefferson Davis after the battle of Bull Run entered 
Washington, and while he remained there in the absence of 
Mr. Lincoln had issued bonds to French subjects and gone off 
with the money received from them, and Napoleon on the re- 
turn of Mr. Lincoln had sent a force to the United States to 
demand the payment of said bonds. The Jecker claims were 
originated by one who was a rebel against the constitutional 
government, which had not ceased to exist during the three 
years, and ought not therefore to beheld responsible for the 
acts of an unlawful party. 

For the sake of peace, and in order to get rid of the hostile 
visitors, the Mexican government was disposed to concede 
the original sum of $750,000, with five per cent, interest, but 
repudiated any further claims on that ground. The English 
and Spanish commissioners positively declined to be parties 
to pass up such claims to the Mexican president, and reported 
the facts to their respective governments, and were sustained in 
their course. The next item in the French demands was for 
reclamations for injuries and impositions suffered by French 
subjects on various occasions during past years; for them a 
round sum of $12,000,000 was claimed. ]STo detailed statements 
were presented, no names of persons or dates of events or ex- 
tent of wrong or injury in each case were forthcoming, and when 
these were inquired for the French minister replied that his 
government had made a general estimate to cover all the cases, 
and that he regarded that as entirely sufficient. The English 
and Spanish commissioners, after having submitted the items in 
their claims which they were to urge on the Mexican government, 
felt that they could not be parties to include a demand like this 
without vouchers of any kind. They then proposed to M. Sa- 
ligny to grant to the Mexican government the right to examine 
into the justice of such claims through the medium of a mixed 
commission, to which Mexico was ready to consent; but even 
this reasonable proposition was declined by M. Saligny. Mex- 
ico must pay what France demanded, " trusting to her high sense 
of honor to demand only what was right." The ulterior object of 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 147 

Prance was by this made manifest. Up to this hour the French 
government on repeated occasions had declared that it went to 
Mexico " to obtain satisfaction for its demands, and nothing 
more." The French representative signed the agreement in the 
treaty of London and of Soledad, " not to interfere in the in- 
terior affairs of Mexico." In the address of Napoleon's secre- 
tary of state to the French Parliament he used these words : 

France can do no more than she has already — that is, to repeat the 
assurance that she does not propose to intervene in any manner with the 
internal affairs of Mexico; that her sole object is to obtain payment of 
her claims and reparation of the injuries that had been done her. . . . But 
to compel them by force, never! 

Honest men have only certain terms to characterize profes- 
sions like these when they contrast so widely with the conduct 
pursued. It is worthy of note that while the convention was 
sitting ships of the French navy were visiting the leading ports 
of Mexico, trying to induce them to " pronounce " in favor of 
the plan of Almonte (the agent of the church party) and mon- 
archy, as well as sheltering traitors like Mirainon, Marquez, and 
others who were ready, when this convention should break up, 
to commence their efforts to overthrow the Republican govern- 
ment preferred by the nation and erect on its ruins an imperial 
throne ! 

To proceed further was impossible ; the convention of Sole- 
dad terminated. The English and Spanish representatives duly 
informed the Mexican government, and retired with their mili- 
tary escort from Mexico, sending on the facts to their respective 
governments, which approved their action. The French repre- 
sentative alone remained and transferred to the French general 
and his army the obligation to proceed without delay to execute 
the will of their imperial master, and ordered up the additional 
troops that had arrived. Saligny was asked if he really did 
not intend to observe the distinct condition into which they 
had all entered, in case the negotiations were broken off, to retire 
their troops "to the line below the fortifications" on the Cumbres 
before beginning their operations. Not he ! He well knew 



148 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

lie served a master who would freely condone the base treach- 
ery of thus violating his own signature. He had an immense 
advantage for his purpose, and was going to retain it, no matter 
how all honorable soldiers, or the whole world itself, might stamp 
it with infamy as an almost unprecedented violation of diplo- 
matic and military honor ! The French emperor gained what 
he wanted, the power to act alone, on his own terms, in forcing 
his demands, at the bayonet's point, on an enemy whose gener- 
osity he violated, while he demanded full payment of fictitious 
claims, and then drove him from the seat of authority to which 
the nation had elected him in order to place upon it a stranger 
whom he had already selected for that purpose ! 

In addition to a full account of the convention so disastrously 
ended Sir C. "Wyke and General Prim declared to their govern- 
ments that their observation and inquiries in Mexico " had fully 
satisfied them that a monarchy was not desired by any one in 
Mexico save a few Conservatives and the church party." 

The church party embraces all that is bigoted and fanatical in the 
country, and is therefore retrogressive in policy, and at variance with the 
spirit of the age, and is detested by a great majority of the people, who are 
in favor of a liberal policy. (P. 723.) 

It is not usual for the secretary of state of a great nation to 
take the responsibility of expressing himself so bluntly concern- 
ing the measures of a neighboring sovereign and his government 
as Lord John Russell did at this time concerning the whole 
question under review here. "Writing to his embassador at Paris, 
who he expected would report the sentiments of his government 
to the French secretary of state, Lord Russell says : 

It is hardly possible that claims so excessive as that of $12,000,000 in the 
lump, without an account, and that of $15,000,000 for $750,000 actually 
received, can have been put forward with an expectation that they would 
be complied Avith. ... I stated to Mr. Flahault (the French embassador 
at London) that what we could not agree to, and must keep clear of, was 
the putting forward of claims merely for the sake of making a quarrel. 
That was a course we could not adopt ourselves nor defend in others. . . . 
The principle of non-intervention having been always maintained by the 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 149 

English government, our force was withdrawn and our flag hauled down 
upon the express determination of Admiral de la Graviere and M. Saligny 
to march to Mexico for the purpose of overthrowing the government of 
President Juarez.* 

General Prim in liis address to the Cortes held exactly the 
same position. 

Having gained their point of being left alone in Mexico, being 
heavily re-enforced, ultimately up to forty-five thousand men, 
and with the full intention of forcing the payment of both these 
enormous claims, and in addition resolved to make Mexico " pay 
the expense of the war, which on her side was not provoked, 
nor declared by the other," as Senor Romero phrased it, the 
march toward Mexico city was begun. Before the allied com- 
missioners had left Saligny made an unexpected proposal. He 
had evidently become alarmed at the effect which his enormous 
demands would have on public opinion in Europe when the 
reasons for the breaking up of the convention were made 
known ; so he offered to abandon the Jecker claims if the other 
two commissioners would indorse the claim for $12,000,000, 
which, being entirely without evidence, they would not do. 
Saligny then withdrew his proposal and referred the matter 
to Napoleon. 

Late in September, 1862, the Republican forces operating 
between Vera Crnz and the city of Mexico intercepted another 
packet of letters addressed to M. Jecker by his friends in Paris. 
They were sent to President Juarez, and were found even more 
nefarious than the previous ones captured. The president sent 
them to Senor Romero, who laid them before the government at 
Washington, and they were sent to Congress. A few sentences 
will show their purport, and who was operating influentially 
behind the scenes in this abominable business, and also give a 
clearer view of the objects of these enemies of freedom and 
justice. One tells Jecker, among other things, "Your letter of 
July 16 has been presented entire before the eyes of his Maj- 

* Diplomatic Correspondence Presented to Parliament, 1862, part iii, pp. 242. 
720, 801. 



150 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

esty, as has been done with the previous ones when their tenor 
has permitted." Another of this hand of sharpers writes : 

Affairs are taking a better aspect for us. For a decision has been come 
to to colonize. Forty-five thousand men are to be sent out. . . . Our 
friends think the bonds will be admitted in Mexico. I will divulge noth- 
ing though I see every thing has been prohibited since the disgusting 
correspondence of Sir C. "Wyke has been submitted to Parliament. That 
diplomate has been your adversary and deadly enemy. . . . Feeling itself 
almost anticipated, and closely watched by Wyke, the French government 
lets nothing transpire with reference to its jjrojects of protectorate, colon- 
ization, etc. Not less than eighteen generals go out with the expedi- 
tionary corps, for which reason it must be very considerable. . . . The 
expedition will have relation also to the affairs of the United States. 

Jecker's father in another letter says : 

I have not deceived you in repeating to you now for more than a year 
that there would be colonization, a throne, protectorate, etc. I believe, also, 
these forces have in view to restrain the United States, drunk with pride and 
vain boasting. ... In Paris, for the present, it is better not to wake the 
cat that sleeps. Wyke has been our real enemy, Juarez should burn a 
long candle for him. . . . With forty-five thousand men submission will 
follow, and even a pressure wall be brought to bear upon the United States, 
the position of which is not without its influence on what passes. . . . With 
reference to the organization of the government (in Mexico), Maximilian 
was nothing more than a pilot balloon without any importance. Who 
will be placed to govern under the tutelage of France I cannot say. . . . 

C (who has just returned from Mexico) says: "The reactionaries fear 

the entire and full recognition of the bonds, because it would burden the 
treasury. The Liberals execrate them, and the French believe the calum- 
nies employed to depreciate them, so that I can truly say that I have not 
encountered any one in Mexico but Saligny who sustains them." * 

These are merely samples. The "new duke" figures con- 
stantly, and they boast of the able men whom they employ to 
manufacture public opinion in France and Europe to favor the 
bonds and to sustain Saligny's policy, yet (up to September 3) 
the naturalization papers for Jecker had not reached him, and 
the French government was thus zealously engaged in behalf 
of a wretched swindler who was not even a French subject ! 

* Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, No. 54, pp. 375-38*7. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 151 

Having sold his bonds at a large advance, Jecker had obligated 
himself to pay interest at three per cent, until they were re- 
deemed at the treasury or custom-houses of Mexico for their 
face. So long as Juarez held power nothing could be realized 
on them. The interest had to be paid promptly to keep up 
the credit of the bonds, and Jecker was ruined before aid could 
reach him. President Juarez (early in October) ordered the 
arrest and banishment of Jecker and his crew from the country, 
and thus ended their dreams of enormous wealth at Mexico's 
expense. 

The expulsion of Jecker and the contents of the intercepted 
letters were not long in reaching the English government, and 
soon after found their place in the London Times. Telegrams 
to Paris of what was coming created quite a commotion among 
" those personages who occupy high positions in the court of 
the Tuileries near the imperial throne." It was in vain the 
next morning to prohibit the entrance of The Times into Paris 
as they attempted. Many had obtained the news, and Jules 
Favre arose in the Chamber of Deputies to question M. Billant, 
who was known to be the mouth-piece and defender of the em- 
peror. The questions were scorching, such as a minister has rarely 
had to face in Parliament. The worst could not be spoken, but 
men understood the meaning of the courageous deputy as he 
denounced those who had so despicably traded with the char- 
acter of France in a foreign land, while the Duke de Moray 
sat presiding over the Assembly ! No wonder that Jecker had 
boasted in the past that Napoleon was bound to sustain him 
and his bonds because of the hold he had upon his character 
and of those who stood with him. 

The Mexican government had come to understand that France 
was not to blame for her sufferings, and attributed them solely to 
the emperor. An incident which showed President Juarez's feel- 
ing on the subject occurred at a reception given in his honor at 
Chihuahua, when an indiscreet admirer spread the French flag 
on the ground in front of the door with the intent that the 
president should tread on it. The moment that Juarez saw it 



152 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

he turned, went around it, and requested that it be lifted up. 
"When remonstrated with for declining to dishonor the flag that 
was invading their country lie answered : " !No, that flag rep- 
resents France, against which we have no cause of complaint. 
We distinguish between the French people and their emperor, 
and when all is over France will yet do Mexico justice. Let 
us honor that flag." 

On the way to the city of Mexico the French troops under 
General Laurency were met near Puebla by a force of Repub- 
licans under General Zaragoza, and there, under the shadow of 
the snow-capped volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl, they 
suffered, the humiliation of defeat by Mexico's poorly equipped 
soldiers. The heroes of Solferino, who had known no defeat 
since Waterloo, were driven back to Orizaba with serious loss. 
It was not because of any special superiority of numbers or facil- 
ities of the ground occupied by the Mexicans in the struggle. 
Under God it was won by the vigor which comes to those who 
fight for their homes, their country, and the freedom which 
they love. This triumph filled Mexico with exultation and 
hope, and. the day, the fifth of May, " Cinco de Mayo," 
is yearly celebrated. The French troops waited at Orizaba 
for re-enforcements before renewing their march against Mex- 
ico. The chagrin of Napoleon may be imagined, and his pride 
urged him to send forward more than adequate resources, 
with a consequent increase of expense which he confidently 
expected that Mexico should pay, and which claim was em- 
bodied in the convention between himself and Maximilian, as 
we shall see. 

This check and its results consumed several months of time, 
and enabled President Juarez and the Congress more fully 
to make their final arrangements for the preservation of the 
government and the defense of the nation against its implaca- 
ble enemy. At Miramar and Rome matters were being pushed 
forward in regard to the departure of the Archduke of Austria 
for Mexico as soon as the French should clear his way to the 
capital. Already he had accepted the crown proffered him, 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 153 

not by " the people of Mexico," as he was untruthfully assured, 
but by the exiles and traitors who hung around the French 
court, and by the " Assembly of Notables," so called, who 
mysteriously kept up from the Mexican capital communica- 
tions with these enemies of their country's freedom. Maxi- 
milian apparently tried to believe their assurances of the senti- 
ments of their country — that he would find his path " strewn 
with flowers from Yera Cruz to the throne in the ' Halls of 
Montezuma,' and that all opposition would drop into the dust 
within a few weeks of his arrival," and " the united nation 
would gather around him with enthusiasm as their beloved 
sovereign." Yet, after all these assurances, he seemed to hesi- 
tate, and stipulated that a general vote of the people should 
be obtained, that he might have the assurance that not a class 
only, but the nation itself, was really calling him to be their 
sovereign. This hesitancy was not causeless. It was the result 
of a warning that he had received by a trusty messenger from 
President Juarez, in regard to the danger to which his advisers 
were luring him for their own purposes. Happy had it been 
for him had he heeded that warning. It appeared on his trial 
and aided in his condemnation. The Conservative faction 
assured him that the popular vote which he desired would most 
certainly be promptly taken. If Maximilian had not been 
weak-minded and so disposed to yield to undue influence he 
would have known that such a vote was impossible in view of 
the fact that the Republican forces were controlling more than 
two thirds of the nation, and that less than one third was held 
by French bayonets, and that only in places where the latter 
held sway could such a vote be taken, and that even then it 
would be utterly unreliable as an expression of the popular will. 
Among those surrounding the archduke was Senor Gutierrez 
de Estrada, president of the delegates of the " Council of 
Notables," which was an assembly of aristocratic aspirants, 
composed of persons whose families formerly bore titles before 
the republic superseded them, while the rest of the council was 
made up of " priests, friars, and military officers in the service 



154 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

of the bishops." They anticipated a titled aristocracy as a suit- 
able setting for an imperial throne in Mexico, and this would 
have required territorial endowments, a law of primogeniture 
and entail for its due dignity, while the Church was to "raise 
her mitered fronts in court and Parliament," and Mexico was 
to bear tlje financial burdens of those Old World pomps and 
decorations. Some of the doings became known, and liberals, 
even in Austria, made themselves merry over the situation and 
the ridiculous aspects of the matter. Among these questions 
were proposed : " What relation has the young prince to Mexico, 
that he should be made emperor ?" " By what title will he 
reign over a country at the other end of the world ? " while 
others offered the advice that " Maximilian should study the 
Spanish, in order to be able to converse with his subjects ! " 

John Lothrop Motley was at that time the United States 
embassador at the court of Austria, and was personally ac- 
quainted with the archduke and his views. As an American 
he was frequently asked his opinion of this curious affair in its 
different aspects. We place before the reader what he says 
upon the subject in his correspondence, as follows : 

Vienna. September 22, 1863. 
In this capital the great interest just now is about the new Mexican 
emperor. The Archduke Maximilian is next brother to the Emperor of 
Austria, and about thirty years of age. He has been a kind of lord high 
admiral, an office which, in the present condition of the imperial navy, 
may be supposed to be not a very onerous one. He was Governor-General 
of Lombardy until that kingdom was ceded to Victor Emmanuel, and he is 
considered a somewhat restless and ambitious youth. ... It is, I believe, 
unquestionable that the archduke is most desirous to go forth on this 
adventure. It is equally certain that the step is exceedingly unpopular in 
Austria. That a prince of the House of Hapsburg should become the 
satrap of the Bonaparte dynasty, and should sit on an American throne, 
which could not exist a moment but for French bayonets and French 
ships, is most galling to all classes of Austrians. The intrigue is a most 
embarrassing one to the government. If the fatal gift is refused, Louis 
Napoleon, of course, takes it highly in dudgeon. If it is accepted, Aus- 
tria takes a kind of millstone around her neck in the shape of gratitude 
for something she didn't want, and some day she will be expected to pay 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 155 

for it in something she had rather not give. The deputation of the so- 
called "Notables" is expected here this week, and then the conditions 
will be laid down on which Maximilian will consent to lie in the bed of 
roses of Montezuma and Iturbide. The matter is a very serious and 
menacing one to us. 

He adds, under the same date, to Oliver W. Holmes, and in 
allusion to the drought then prevailing in Austria, the significant 
words : 

There is no glory in the grass nor verdure in any thing. In fact, we have 
nothing green here but the Archduke Maximilian, who firmly believes 
that he is going forth to Mexico to establish an American empire, and 
that it is his divine mission to destroy the dragon of democracy and re- 
establish the true Church, the right divine, and all sorts of games. Poor 
young man ! 

Speaking of Maximilian's characteristic and church notions, 
Mr. Motley adds what might have been expected as a result 
of the training which he received under the bigoted influence 
of his mother, the Archduchess Sophia : 

Maximilian adores bull-fights, rather regrets the Inquisition, and con- 
siders the Duke of Alva every thing noble and chivalrous and the most 
abused of men. It would do your heart good to hear his invocation to that 
deeply injured shade, and his denunciations of the ignorant and vulgar 
Protestants who have defamed him. . . . You can imagine the rest.* 

How completely Maximilian was in the hands of the wily 
French emperor may be seen in the terms of the treaty which 
lie was required to sign before he left for Mexico. How any 
man with his eyes open could be induced to bow his neck to 
accept such a heavy load of financial obligations is incompre- 
hensible. Not merely did it include the cost of the intervention 
from first to last, but also the claims rejected at Soledad, and 
which could be made to cover, surreptitiously, even the Jecker 
bonds. Besides these it was necessary to provide for his im- 
perial salary, the civil list, and all the national expenses, military 
and naval. Very adroitly the proposed loan of £8,000,000 
sterling at ten per cent, interest, about to be floated, professedly 

* The Correspondence of J. L. Motley, vol. ii, p. 138. 
13 



156 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

to put Maximilian in funds to begin his administration, was ar- 
ranged so that fifty-four million francs were at once to be paid 
to the French emperor on account, and twelve million francs 
as an installment of the indemnities due to Frenchmen ! Poor 
Maximilian, this treaty was to prove one of the millstones that 
was to sink his empire ! He signed it because he was misin- 
formed and deceived as to the professedly great resources of the 
land he thought he was invited to govern ! 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 157 



CHAPTEE VI. 

"Why Maximilian failed — Warnings in Austrian history — Francis Joseph — Papal 
denunciation — Denying a grave — Juarez and Congress — Juarez and Lincoln 
— South American interest — Netherland League — Position of the United 
States — Marshal's disagreement with the archbishop — Impossible task — Em- 
pire without foundation — Abbe Domenech — Career for the Latin race — Grant 
— Failure of efforts — Nuncio — Pope's expostulation — Clericals in politics — 
Confidential letter of Carlota — Denial of papal authority. 

Maximilian had liis personal warnings as to the serious risks 
in which such a course as he was now entering upon might in- 
volve him. He had seen this illustrated under his own eyes 
during the previous five years, and to what risks and humilia- 
tion attempts to do the papal will and ignore popular rights had 
brought his brother the emperor, until at last, driven to desper- 
ation by the pope's demands, Francis Joseph had to fling these 
demands to the winds and break with the papacy in order to save 
his crown and kingdom. He thus made Austria constitution- 
ally free, and gave Roman Catholic Europe an example which 
she has been swift to follow in ridding herself of the burden 
of political Romanism. Many concordats were smashed when 
it was seen that Austria, so long subservient, could no longer 
exist in the nineteenth century hampered with one. This had 
recently occurred under Maximilian's observation, and was the 
more emphatic as he was obliged to relinquish his viceroyalty 
of Lombardy and yield up that territory to Victor Emmanuel 
for the unification of Italy, as demanded by her people, who 
scorned Austria's claim to rule longer any part of their land. 
This prince leaves all this scene of rectified wrong in the inter- 
ests of a nation's liberty, as if he had learned no lesson from it 
to cross the ocean and impose a foreign sovereignty on a free 
nation, and all this in order to do the will of a crafty pope and 



158 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

his clergy, and through the agency of . an army of foreigners 
sent by an unscrupulous sovereign. 

The Austrian nation had long been regarded as " the broad 
shield of papacy," and had been trusted accordingly. In all 
emergencies of the pontiff a word was sufficient to bring the 
armies of Austria to his aid. Freedom was thus repeatedly 
crushed and despotism sustained. In her pride and self-confidence 
she aspired to dominate Germany, and watched with jealous eyes 
the rising greatness of Prussia. Meanwhile she was closely 
observed by Louis Napoleon, who coveted her peculiar position 
as patron of the papacy, and aspired to fill the place of " the 
eldest son of the Church." To gain this point he was ready to 
aid Yictor Emmanuel to drive Austria out of Italy. The hour 
desired came in 1859, and the terrible overthrow of Magenta 
and Solferino spread the gloom and despair of defeat through- 
out the Austrian empire. Four years previously Francis 
Joseph had completed with the pope a concordat, every item 
of which had been dictated by the clericals, and under the pro- 
tection of which Austria considered herself safe. The pope's 
allocution, issued only six weeks later, intended to strengthen 
the concordat, wrought exactly the other way. As a sample 
of how the papacy can pour its adulation upon those who stoop 
so low as the Austrian emperor did to take this yoke upon him, 
it is very monitory. 

Thanks to the infinite bounty of God, and to the piety of our most dear 
son in Jesus Christ, Francis Joseph, Emperor and Apostolic King of 
Austria, what we desired has come to pass — in this completed concordat 
— and has been regularly and solemnly confirmed. . . . We offer up great 
thanksgivings to the Father of mercies and God of all consolation, who 
has given a wise and enlightened heart to our most dear son in Jesus 
Christ, Francis Joseph, Emperor and Apostolic King of Austria. 

All this gush of joy soon proved a delusion, and this " dear 
son " had a rude awakening when, crushed on the battle-field, 
he found no hand to help him. Hurrying back to Vienna, he 
took counsel with the best men of his diversified empire. They 
advised him to break with the papacy, to cast off the concordat, 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 159 

and to unify his empire by granting civil and religious free- 
dom. Acting upon this advice, the emperor adopted a consti- 
tutional course which saved Austria. Under the guidance of 
Count von Beust (a Protestant statesman, called to be premier) 
the nation began to enjoy freedom and peace. Nearly all that 
Kossuth and his compatriots had unsuccessfully struggled to 
obtain more than a score of years before was conceded, and the 
empire was at last united in civil and religious freedom, guar- 
anteed to them by their enlightened sovereign and the excel-' 
lent constitution which he had signed. While the States around 
were rejoicing with the Austrians in their freedom and the 
peace that had come with it, there was one power which surveyed 
the scene with envious eyes and cursed it, not merely " in their 
hearts," but in the bitterest language, and that too, in the name 
of Almighty God, whose holy providence had led these millions 
out of such long-time tribulation into the happiest condition 
their country had ever known. That power was the papacy. 

An allocution full of wrath was pronounced by the pope. 
How outspoken and violent it was may be judged by our read- 
ers from an epitome of it expressed in his own words. He 
denounces them for having not only abrogated the concordat 
with him, but for having, in place of it, dared to pass " the fol- 
lowing odious and abominable laws : " 

1. Laws establishing liberty for all opinions, liberty of the press, and 
liberty of faith and worship. 

2. Laws granting to the members of all denominations the right of es- 
tablishing schools and colleges. 

3. Laws permitting the intermarriage, on terms of religious equality, 
of Catholics and Protestants. 

4. Laws permitting civil marriage. 

5. Law T s permitting the burial of Protestants in Romish lands where 
Protestants have no cemeteries of their own in which to bury. 

6. Laws establishing public schools for secular education that shall be 
free from the control of the Romish priesthood. 

The pope denounces the above laws and declares them 
" contrary to the doctrines, rights, and authority of the 



160 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Catholic religion;" and adds, "Let it be understood that the 
Roman Catholic Church declares such laws as these, wherever 
they may be enacted, to be null and void" * He closes his 
lengthy and excited allocution by reminding all who had act, hand, 
or part in the framing or enactment of those laws that they had 
made thenfselves amenable to " the censures and spiritual punish- 
ments" which it was in his power to inflict upon them ! To this 
un-Christlike tirade Baron von Beust, the premier, calmly re- 
plied through the embassador of Austria at Rome, informing the 
pope and his curia that they were not going to be moved in the 
slightest degree from the beneficent course they had deliberately 
chosen for themselves as freemen ; nor have they been moved 
from that day to this. The people and the press of Austria 
have stood by their government loyally, and the clergy have not 
dared to institute any resistance to the national will. 

If there be any thing in a man's relation to his fellow-creat- 
ures that is most detestable in the estimation of heathen and 
Mohammedan people, it is the very course here pursued by the 
pope of Rome, when he utters his shameful protest against the 
humanity of the Austrians in allowing a dead Protestant a 
place to rest in peace. Yet here is a man ready to shed his 
tears because the Anstrians had that much common humanity 
left. That unreasoning fanatics of his Church should now and 
then so far forget themselves as thus to insult the dead of 
other Christian denominations is a small offense compared to 
this. Here is a man professing to be the chief priest of Chris- 
tianity, publicly taking this awful stand before all the world, and 
this, too, in our tolerant age, as the avowed and settled policy 
and principle of his Church every-where, that she holds the 
power to inflict this last indignity upon the man, the woman, 
or the babe that dies where his religion has temporal sway ! 
We may well thank Heaven that Romanism controls only a 
limited portion of our race, and also that of those she yet con- 
trols there are not five States to-day that would do her bidding 
on this question, while even this number is growing less. 
* Christian World, vol. xix, pp. 312-314. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 161 

Maximilian was going to a country where such wicked in- 
tolerance was carried out not so many years ago, while in 
Europe it was common enough, in papal lands, in the days of 
our fathers. The readers of Dr. Young's Night Thoughts 
will recall his terrible experience in Spain. Dr. Young, as a 
last hope for recovery, took his gifted daughter to try the effect 
of that climate upon the consumption that was wasting her 
away. She continued to fail and soon died. He went out to 
make arrangements for her burial and was horrified to learn 
from the undertaker that no grave could be claimed for her, 
she having been a " heretic ! " Dr. Young inquired of the 
man what then was he to do. A shrug of the shoulders was 
the only answer. Money could not bribe him to attempt it, 
even privately, for fear of the priests ; so that Dr. Young 
returned to his dead almost distracted. The account runs 
that a kind-hearted gentleman came to advise with him, and 
they arranged to make up the body into the smallest parcel 
possible, and after midnight, when all had retired, they bore the 
precious burden between them, and, leaving the road, found a 
plowed field, where they dug such a grave as they were able 
and laid the loved one to her rest. The doctor has memorial- 
ized the event in his Night Thoughts : 

" While nature yearned blind superstition raved, 
That mourned the dead, and this denied a grave." 

Surely here is evidence in the pope's own words, as well as 
the facts of history, justifying the sad conclusion that Roman- 
ism is unchangeable, that the cruelty she has inflicted upon 
humanity, living and dead, she would repeat if she only had the 
power again to exercise it, and that therefore she cannot be 
trusted. 

Napoleon's increased army now advanced to open the way 
for the Austrian archduke, and the Mexican president and Con- 
gress, unable to offer an adequate resistance, were compelled to 
retire from Mexico city. The Congress dispersed, but before 
doing so they invested the president with what is called in 



162 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Mexico " ample faculties," giving him their unlimited confi- 
dence, and the use of all the available resources of the nation 
in the great task of carrying on the conflict for the freedom of 
Mexico. Thirty days after the return of peace the Congress 
was to convene and receive the report of the use made of 
this pow&r. How wonderful the scene when the legislature 
transferred its authority to the discretion of this incorruptible 
patriot ! The sublime faith and devotion to the cause embodied 
in the Constitution which he drew up in 1857 displayed by this 
distinguished man is a most remarkable fact in the history of 
freedom. With the army of a foreign despot threatening his 
capital and his navy bombarding the coast cities to force a for- 
eign monarch on the nation ; with domestic treason, led by men 
called ministers of the Most High ; with forces scattered, few 
in number and deficient in resources ; with foes to misrepresent 
the truth in other lauds and with none to help, yet this good 
Republican president faints not. There is only one man with 
whom to compare him — Lincoln ; and they are worthy to be 
associated in honor together. 

The address of Bishop Simpson, able, affectionate, and excellent as it 
was, at the funeral of our martyred president, contained nothing more not- 
able than the quotation that the orator made from one of Mr. Lincoln's 
speeches, uttered in 1859 (four years before these events in Mexico), in 
which, speaking of the slave power, he said : "Broken by it, I, too, may 
be; bow to it, I never will. The probability that we may fail in the strug- 
gle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause which I deem to be 
just, and it shall not deter me. If ever I feel the soul within me elevate 
and expand to those dimensions not wholly unworthy of its Almighty 
architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country, deserted by all 
the world besides, and I, standing up boldly and alone, and hurling de- 
fiance at her victorious oppressors. Here, without contemplating conse- 
quences, before high Heaven and in the face of the world, I swear 
eternal fidelity to the just cause, as I deem it, of the land of my life, my 
liberty, and my love." No inspiration finer than this breathes in any of 
Mr. Lincoln's utterances. It almost seems as if an intimation of his life 
and death were given to him at the moment, as if a glimpse into his own 
and his country's future had been vouchsafed to his excited vision.* 

* Holland's Life of Lincoln, p. 534. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 163 

Every word here could have been adopted by Juarez as his 
own in his struggle with clerical despotism. How wonderful 
the providence that raised up two such men, living and acting 
side by side, taking the same risks for the same cause, enduring 
this during the same eventful decade, 1860 to 1870, thinking not 
of themselves, but of that " vision of their country's future," by 
that God-given glimpse vouchsafed to each of them, now so 
fully realized by their grateful countrymen and by those who 
love liberty in every laud ! 

Juarez and his cabinet sought safety in the Northern States 
of the republic while they were developing the resources of 
their country and preparing their plan of resistance in the hope 
of ultimate victory over all this wrong. The States of Cen- 
tral and South America took the alarm to heart very seriously. 
They hastened to communicate with the Mexican president, to 
assure him of their detestation of. Louis Napoleon's treason to 
freedom, and that they held the cause of Mexico as their cause, 
and it should have their abundant sympathy, while they would 
forever honor the man who so worthily bore the banner of con- 
stitutional freedom for the New World, as he was doing. "We 
have not room for their utterances which came to cheer Juarez 
in that anxious hour, and can only briefly refer to them. The 
president of Peru, in his address to the Congress at Lima, closed 
with these stirring words : 

No ; the republics of the New World, from Hudson's Bay to Tierra del 
Fuego, are and will be free, independent, and sovereign ; because such is 
their will — it accords with their democratic instincts and most profound 
convictions ; and because in America monarchy is an impossibility. Mexico 
responds with her friendship and sympathy to that which Peru displays 
and demonstrates for her. 

The Argentine Republic, Chili, Bolivia, Nicaragua, the 
United States of Colombia, and others followed, adding their 
protest against the French invasion. Under all the circumstances 
they regarded our own United States as within the circle of dan- 
ger should Mexico fall before the remorseless power which had 



164 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

already its grip upon her life, and which led the venerable 
Masquera, then President of New Granada, to say to his own 
Congress, " If the United States fails we all go under." Well 
he might say so, in view of the fact (among many other things 
then taking form) that when Peru proposed that " league 
for mutual protection," and it was being discussed, it was credi- 
bly reported that the minister of Napoleon at Bogota remarked 
to the minister of Ecuador that "France would not allow such 
a league to be formed ! " * So the pressure first was to fall on 
Mexico, but the others correctly understood that that was but 
the entering wedge to more destructive results, and that thus 
Mexico was not merely struggling for the rights and freedom 
" which affect all America," as the address of the United States 
of Colombia declared, but on a broader and higher scale even 
than this, as Abbott remarks, like Washington and the found- 
ers of our republic " she was struggling not for herself and 
America alone, but was in a sense fighting Freedom's Battle 
for all mankind and for posterity." 

The eyes of the world were already drawn toward Mexico, 
and true lovers of constitutional liberty on the other side of the 
Atlantic were yielding their sympathy and prayers for her suc- 
cess in the unequal conflict. In a document drawn up by the 
"Netherlands League," a Democratic association at the very 
home of Carlota, were the following expressions, sent to Presi- 
dent Juarez by Senor Romero: 

We address you as the only legal representative of the Mexican nations, to 
congratulate you on your persevering resistance against a foreign usurper, 
who is trying to rob the Mexicans of their liberty and independence. 
. . . The sixteen hundred young men who left Belgium for Mexico were 
made to believe that they were going solely to serve as a guard to the so- 
called Empress of Mexico, daughter of the King of the Belgians, and these 
men, thus deceived, continued to enlist without reflecting that they were 
going to uphold principles of tyranny and oppression. The people of 
Belgium are lovers of liberty, and the independence they want for them- 
selves they desire for other nations. 

* Christian World, vol. xvi, 1865, p. 136. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 165 

The hour had now come for the United States to take their 
position so as to justify their future course, whatever that might 
be. Mr. Seward wrote on the 7th of April, 1864, to our minis- 
ter at Paris, for the information of the French government : 

A resolution jiassed the House of Representatives by a unanimous vote, 
which declares the opposition of that body to a recognition of a monarchy 
in Mexico. He adds in his letter to the minister these decisive words: " I 
remain now firm as heretofore in the opinion that the destinies of the 
American continent are not to be permanently controlled by any political 
arrangement that can be made in the capitals of Europe." 

At the same time, in response to a dispatch in which Napo- 
leon assumed great frankness, while really concealing his pur- 
pose toward Mexico, Mr. Seward stated our position : 

While I appreciate the frankness and the good-will which the emperor's 
government manifests in thus communicating its views and purposes on 
the subject, it nevertheless remains my duty to say that this government 
has long recognized and does continue to recognize the constitutional 
government of the United States of Mexico as the sovereign authority in 
that country, and the president, Benito Juarez, as its chief. This govern- 
ment at the same time recognizes the condition of war existing in Mexico 
between that country and France. We maintain absolute neutrality be- 
tween the belligerents.* 

Our present duty was done when President Lincoln laid before 
Congress, a few days after, the views of the administration in 
regard to Mexico, expressed with his usual candor. Napoleon 
might dissemble as he chose, but henceforth he knew what to 
expect from the United States in regard to Mexico. 

As President Juarez passed out of the northern end of the 
valley of Anahuac the vanguard of the French despot entered 
at the southern, coming to dictate in the New World what style 
of government he would allow here, and what measure of civil 
and religious liberty we must give up, and what we might 
retain, conformably to papal dictation ! 

The president fixed his government at San Luis Potosi, Chi- 
huahua, and El Paso alternately. So Avell was he served by his 
faithful people that, though the clerical faction would have 



166 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

given " large money " to any one who would have betrayed him 
into their hands (and they would probably have given him but 
a short shrift), yet he was preserved from all plots, to carry on 
his great work, until his cause was triumphant in Mexico. 

After his departure from the capital, and until the Austrian 
archduke should arrive, an interregnum government was arranged 
by a regency of three persons, of whom Archbishop Labastida 
was one. This domineering prelate was in his element, and. 
soon tried, to introduce reactionary and repressive measures. He 
could not wait till the prince arrived and had the opportunity 
to approve what was now done in his name. The insolent course 
of this ecclesiastic soon brought him into conflict with Marshal 
Eeigre, who commanded the French forces. The archbishop 
was not disposed to relax one iota of the Church's claims on 
the confiscated property, but demanded that the sales should be 
declared " null and void," though they had been effected legally 
under the preceding regimen ; but he cared nothing for the laws 
of the Congress, and considered a simple decree of the regency 
sufficient to restore all the properties, no matter whose interests 
were violated. The marshal expostulated, and reminded the 
prelate that such action did not become him who had so lately 
been sheltered at the French court and had been brought back 
under the protection of the French flag. He considered the 
archbishop's course so compromising and premature that he 
raised the question whether an appeal to the pope " against this 
retrograde spirit of the higher Mexican clergy would not be 
successful and the archbishop suppressed." 

The heavier storm, however, came when the marshal requested, 
the archbishop to indicate which of the unused churches at the 
capital might be taken as a place of worship for such of his 
soldiers as were Protestants. His own government made such 
provision, and furnished chaplains for them, and they expected 
the same privilege in Mexico. The wrath of the archbishop 
was extreme when the marshal preferred his reasonable request, 
without dreaming of being refused. What followed we will 
state in the language of Chevalier, a French writer, who, though 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 167 

a Romanist, seems to have been as much surprised at the prel- 
ate's violence and intolerance as was the marshal : 

The Archbishop of Mexico, forgetting not only what he owed to France, 
but also the services that the French Intervention was rendering to Mex- 
ico and to Catholicism, was eager to create a sensation. He resigned his 
functions as a member of the provisional government, he issued a protest, 
and a little later he distributed papers among the faithful, in which, accord- 
ing to the terms of a letter addressed to this high church dignitary by Gen- 
eral Neigre, " appeal was made to the most detestable jiassions against the 
army of his majesty the emperor." The circumstances of the case were 
such that the general thought it his duty to address these severe words to 
the archbishop. . . . "Tell that party, monseigneur, that we are watching 
them and are aware of their plots. Tell them that though it is always re- 
pugnant to us to employ violent measures of repression we shall yet, should 
circumstances make the painful duty incumbent, know how to thrust back 
the real enemies of Mexico into the obscurity from which they dare to 
issue their diatribes."* 

Alas ! General Neigre forgot he was not in enlightened Europe, 
but in Mexico, so long oppressed, and that this wicked prelate 
was trying to drag the nation back into the darkness from which 
she had so lately emerged, and that in doing this he was obey- 
ing the will of the pontiff, to whom they dreamed of appealing 
against his acts. What a lesson unfolds itself in this interfer- 
ence of the marshal and its results as to the burden which had 
so long oppressed Mexico ! 

All things being now ready, Maximilian went to Rome to re- 
ceive the papal benediction. Pius IX. was flattered by this act. 
It recalled the customs of the Middle Ages, and the most was 
made of the example ; but it has had no imitators, and how much 
good the pontifical benediction did this "crowned adventurer," 
as some one then called him, we shall see. Maximilian received 
the full assurance of "perpetuity to his dynasty," and the 
"blessing of Heaven upon his enterprise" from the pontiff, who 
claimed that, as God's vicegerent, he was the only authority on 
earth which could originate a new dynasty by "divine right" 
and transmit to it Heaven's indorsement. The entire clerical 

* Mexico, Ancient and Modern, by M. Chevalier, 1864, p. 10. 



168 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

party seconded this assurance. How grim this ajjpears now, and 
what a fearful mistake this " infallible " man made in regard to 
this new Catholic empire and its perpetuity ! Pius IX. did a 
large amount of blessing and cursing in his time. Some curious 
lists were made up to illustrate how often and how completely 
Providence reversed his benedictions and his anathemas until 
men became so indifferent that they neither desired the one nor 
feared the other, and especially after the overwhelming disaster 
that followed his benediction upon Maximilian and his empire ! 
Of God alone, as the omniscient Judge of men, can the words of 
the heathen king of Moab to Balaam be true : " I know that 
he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is 
cursed." The exercise of these prerogatives God has never con- 
ferred on mortal man, not even on this one who set up his claim 
to be " supreme judge of Christendom ! " 

Even though thus fortified there is evidence that Maximilian 
was not quite assured that his empire would be altogether safe. 
Before leaving Miramar he exacted a guarantee from Louis Na- 
poleon, pledging the power of France to " keep the new throne 
secure." What power on this continent could Maximilian be anx- 
ious about save the United States ? Already Napoleon's minister, 
M. Billant, had begun in the French Parliament to dilate on the 
benefits which his master's policy was to confer upon this hem- 
isphere. He intimated that when the emperor had succeeded in 
giving " a good government " to Mexico he might then extend 
his benevolence " over the other disorderly republics of the New 
World." And it was noted that M. Billant in this connection 
made no exception of the United States.* Senor Romero, the 
Mexican embassador, had full evidence in his possession for his 
belief that Napoleon had unfriendly intentions against our 
country. This he placed before Mr. Seward and President Lin- 
coln. When our hands were tied on account of our civil war 
Napoleon hastened the Intervention in Mexico, and undoubtedly 
stood prepared to utilize his chances, whatever they might be, 
to our disadvantage. 

* Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 1863, pp. 63, 310, 444. 



kJ 




MAXIMILIAN, ARCHDUKE OF AUSTRIA, 

For three years, by usurpation, "Emperor" of Mexico. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 169 

The church party made great preparations to receive Maxi- 
milian and Carlota at Vera Gruz, and on the 12th of June, 
1864, they made their formal entry into the city of Mexico, 
and were escorted with great pomp to the cathedral, where they 
were enthroned. The great building was decorated, and under 
the direction of Archbishop Labastida all that was possible 
was done to show popular jubilation. Mr. Flint gives a very 
full account of what was said and done, and evidently leaves 
nothing out in his zeal to mark their welcome to the capital 
and to create the impression that Maximilian was received in a 
great blaze of popularity. How much of this was spontaneous 
and outside of clerical manipulation this partisan does not state, 
but the further part of this narrative will show. 

We here present this now imperial couple to our readers. 
The pictures are from photographs taken at Trieste, when on 
their way to sail for Mexico. 

The prince, or emperor, as we must now begin to call him, 
came well equipped to set up a gorgeous court before the Mex- 
icans. Among other costly articles he had brought a gaudy 
state carriage, so rich with gold trimmings, plate-glass, and other 
trappings, after the old French style, that it was a load for four 
horses to draw, and is reported to have cost $47,000. Tourists 
go to see this curiosity, and also rooms full, until lately, of fur- 
niture and other luxurious articles, all bearing the imperial 
monogram. Few of them came into use and some were never 
unpacked ! Sad reminders of vanities and glories provided at 
an immense cost ! Colonel Evans gives five pages to an enumer- 
ation of these frivolities with which the poor emperor provided 
himself, which those curious in such matters can consult. What 
intensifies the foolishness of the prince who was thus led to 
emulate the court spendors of Napoleon III. was the fact that 
they were provided with borrowed money, much of which was 
never paid, and never will be ! Maximilian himself was com- 
paratively poor, and had only a small patrimony. These thou- 
sands thus vaingloriously squandered in advance could have 

been taken only from that ill-starred Mexican Loan in Europe 

14 



170 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

into which Napoleon had led him. Thus Maximilian lands in 
the country which he invades at the head of a foreign army, 
and, before he can realize a dollar from taxation or from her 
customs, fastens round her neck bonds which demand millions 
for their discharge, but for not one cent of which could the 
poor suffering nation be fairly and honestly held accountable in 
any court on earth. ]STor is this all, nor even the worst of the 
financial wretchedness he brings to load her down in helpless- 
ness and long years of future misery. How is his costly court 
and administration and this reckless war he wages to be sus- 
tained by her ? 

This question was thoroughly examined by a competent 
Mexican statist, Senor Francisco Zarco, of Saltillo. The entire 
paper lies before us, but we have only room for his exhibit for 
the yearly demand and his conclusion upon it. After showing 
that the new empire had to begin its life with a debt of its own 
of $26,580,000 he comes to the question of the annual expense 
sanctioned (including interest on the $40,000,000 of the loan 
taken in Paris, Brussels, Hamburg, and Amsterdam), and de- 
velops the following table as the result to be met when the first 
year ends : 

International obligations $12,781,000 

Interest on the home debt 1, 200, 000 

The emperor's salary 1,500,000 

Appropriation for the empress 100,000 

Expenses of the imperial household 100,000 

Worship and clergy, at least 5,000,000 

The army, 40,000 men, same pay as French 8,000,000 

Civil list, pensions, rewards, annuities, and secret 

service fund 8,000,000 

A total annual expense of $36,681,000 

"While Maximilian is perfecting this prodigious invention the empire 
would have to suffer a deficit of $20,681,000 in the second year of its estab- 
lishment, as the revenue could not be more then than $16,000,000 annu- 
ally, considering the state of war and other serious obstacles. How was 
this deficiency, threatening to increase, too, from year to year, to be sup- 
plied ? That is the question. It is the death of the empire in its cradle ' 




CARLOTA, ARCHDUCHESS OF AUSTRIA, 

and " Empress " of Mexico. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 171 

Senor Zarco pauses here to realize how Prince Maximilian, 
with his eyes open, could have been led into such a hopeless 
and helpless enterprise as this ; and then, recalling the archduke's 
amazing confidence in the pope's blessings and in Napoleon's 
deceptive assurance that he " was going to seat him on piles of 
gold and silver instead of on a throne," Zarco laconically winds 
up his review of the doubtful situation with this remark : 

The pope's precious blessings may do well for eternal life, or help to 
make a passage through purgatory shorter, but nobody ever made a pot- 
pie out of them. . . . Sad will be the archduke's waking, when his frolic 
is over, and, looking for the promised "piles of gold and silver," sees 
only his poor wife's dressing-table.* 

In confirmation of the accuracy of Senor Zarco's estimate it 
is well to note that the same ground was gone over in the fol- 
lowing year by Mr. Middleton, secretary of the British Lega- 
tion in Mexico, fully sustaining what Senor Zarco had antici- 
pated.f No wonder that Louis Napoleon's minister of finance 
declined to make France responsible for so much, or that Francis 
Joseph refused to have part in such transactions, or that so 
early there arose the talk of " taking material guarantees," or 
even the proposals for " the sale of the border States of the 
empire, with the Juarists thrown in as chattels." Who could be 
the purchasers ? The United States did not desire an extension 
of territory ; the Confederate States could not afford such 
luxuries, and France was not in condition to claim Sonora or 
Tehuantepec, much as she desired them, in satisfaction of the 
Miramar contract ! 

Sad and distracting as all this was there lay before the unfort- 
unate emperor a more difficult duty to his employers, through 
which he was expected to go without shrinking so as to carry it 
to its full consummation. The clericals had laid out the work, 
and the pope had accepted the arrangement. Maximilian had 
no alternative, nor was he to be allowed any modification of 

* Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 1864, p. 578. La Accion, June 
18, 1864 

•j- Papers Relating to Foreign Affairs of the United States,. 1866, part ii. 



172 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

its execution. Those whose work he was to do laughed at his 
modern notions of a "limited monarchy" and "constitutional 
sovereignty." " The allocution of the holy father " against 
Mexico (already presented to our readers) was placed before 
him as his guide. It bitterly condemns the laws passed 
under the famous Constitution drafted by Juarez, and declares 
all the acts done under it to be " condemned, disallowed, and 
absolutely null and void, and of no effect ! " The people, the 
Congress, and the government are sternly required to bow down 
before the demands of the pope and to surrender all that they 
had won, under the threat of " the penalties and censures of the 
holy see." Maximilian was to build up by its terms a model 
Romish State for this continent ! At first he tried to conciliate 
the hierarchy, choosing the members of his cabinet from among 
the Conservatives, and endeavored to subjugate the national 
affairs to the papal will. 

Let us now turn our attention to the broader facts of the 
Intervention now so fully launched in Mexico. It had more 
than armies in the field and navies on the ocean for the accom- 
plishment of its purposes. It had its trained writers and 
pamphleteers, for the manufacturing of public opinion, sta- 
tioned in New York and in the leading cities of Europe. All 
that related to the Intervention was put in the most flattering 
aspects, and the republic was misrepresented in a detestable 
manner, calculated to bring down the curse of " the God of 
truth " upon those who sought their objects by such means. 
The man who occupied a prominent position among the calum- 
niators of the republic, and the special eulogist of the empire, 
has already been introduced to our readers. The Abbe Em- 
manuel Domenech bore the title of " Senior Director of the 
Press of the Cabinet of his Majesty the Emperor Maximilian," 
and was so appointed by Napoleon for very special service. He 
thus occupied a position between two thrones, was informed 
concerning all that passed, and had immense influence in mold- 
ing public opinion in Europe in regard to the Mexican question. 
His whole heart was given to the work of representing unfa- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 173 

vorably the character of the Mexican Liberals and to building 
up on this continent the European system of government, ■with 
its civil and religious despotism. In his volume, Mexico As 
It Is, he distinctly avows that the object of Napoleon in the 
Intervention was to checkmate the United States. Our trans- 
formation was to be accomplished by overthrowing the Monroe 
doctrine, and by "giving to the Latin race a career on this 
continent." That career was to change the republics of Central 
and South America into monarchies, and thus open the way to 
monarchize us. We will quote his words : 

If monarchy should be successfully introduced into the Spanish repub- 
lics, in ten years the United States would themselves declare a dictator- 
ship, which is a kind of republican monarchy adopted by degenerate or 
too revolutionary republics. (P. 226.) 

He next asserts that the settled policy of the United States 
was to appropriate Mexico as their own, and then the rest of 
the continent. He addsf 

In starting with the principle, which is now a fact, that the American 
continent is the common property of the human race, and not of the shat- 
tered union of a single race, without title or right, at least to Spanish 
America and the Latin race, mother of all civilization, it evidently follows 
that the principle of the protection of Europe, at least in the seventeen 
republican States of South America, belongs to us (the French) and to all 
the powers of the Old World. We must protect the Latin race, and in 
order to protect it we must first take possession of the point menaced by 
the United States. (P. 230.) 

This is the policy indicated by Napoleon's words on another 
occasion, when he said, "My object is to assure the preponder- 
ance of France over the Latin races, and to augment the influence 
of those races in America." * Domenech then adds : 

It would have been good policy to have recognized the Southern Con- 
federacy, in order to make the work of intervention more speedy. (P. 240.) 

"While several times too he declares : 

The Intervention was a grand and glorious undertaking, which prom- 
ised to be for France the crowning glory of the reign of Napoleon III., and 
* Mackenzie, p. -53. 



174 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

for Europe and the world the grandest enterprise of the nineteenth cent- 
ury. (P. 223.) 

These assertions were written after the utter failure of the In- 
tervention, when the French had left Mexico, and this "Senior 
Director of the Press of the Cabinet of his Majesty the Em- 
peror of Mexico " was trying to account for the overthrow of all 
these grand plans of his master, and felt so exasperated against 
Mr. Seward's diplomacy and the moral support which the 
United States had given to Mexico in her struggle. He knew 
far more than he chooses to tell us ; but as he sits there, so disap- 
pointed and so disconsolate, with the ruins of their "empire" 
around him, the Confederacy collapsed and the United States 
right before him now more powerful and glorious than ever, 
we can well enough understand what he means when he writes 
this closing paragraph and says : 

Behind the Mexican expedition there was more than an empire to found, 
a nation to save, markets to create, thousands of millions to develop; 
there was a world tributary to France, happy to submit to our sympa- 
thetic influence, to receive their supplies from us, and to ascribe to us 
their resurrection to the political and social life of civilized people. 
(P. 242.) 

Yes, indeed, behind the Mexican expedition there was more 
to be accomplished than he here enumerates. He does not 
state what or how much more, but it is no longer difficult to 
surmise the rest, after these admissions of this deeply disap- 
pointed priest and the side lights that we now have from so 
many other quarters. The wicked conspiracy stands clearly 
revealed. 

How blind to the teachings of history must have been this 
man ! The Latin and the Teutonic races had been struggling 
for supremacy for generations on the European continent, and 
such battle-fields as Sadowa and Gravelotte had given the 
ascendency to Teuton civilization, and that of Sedan soon after 
consummated the great change. Three hundred years ago the 
Latin race held the wealth of the world in its possession, with 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



175 



all that that wealth could command, and the fairest and most 
fruitful realms of earth as its own, to show what it could do 
for humanity. Refusing the blessings conferred by the Refor- 
mation and the open Bible, it bowed to papal despotism, and 
now the result shows Italy, Spain, Mexico, and South America 
far behind Protestant nations in enterprise, intelligence, indus- 
try, and virtue ! 

Yet this enemy of constitutional freedom was vain enough 
to imagine that he could dazzle the world by holding up the 
ignis fatuus of " Latin civilization " as something to be preferred 
to Protestant and Christian freedom at the close of the nine- 
teenth century. His folly provoked extensive examinations into 
national statistics covering such questions as those of illiteracy, 
crime, legitimacy, and prosperity, which were tabulated and 
published, presenting comparisons as to the respective results of 
the two systems of civilization. These various exhibits lie be- 
fore us, but leaving those which present the sad results of Latin 
civilization in regard to all the other points, we take up the 
one that deals with illiteracy and present it for the consideration 
of our readers. Eight countries of each civilization, aggregat- 
ing each other closely in population, etc., are here compared.* 
"What a lesson do these tables teach ! 

ILLITERACY OF LATIN AND TEUTONIC POPULATIONS. 



ROMAN CATHOLIC 

COUNTRIES. 

LATIN. 



Venezuela — 

Austria-Hungary. . 

France 

Brazil 

Spain 

Portugal 

Belgium 

Italy 

Total 

Average 



a 








C S 


£ 3 


3 

a. 


li 


SS3 








Pm 


PhQ 


90.00 


2,075,345 


90.0 


39,234,511 


67.6 


32.00 


38,218,903 


78.5 


25.00 


12,922,375 


99.0 


84.00 


16,958,178 


99.0 


60.00 


4,708,178 


99.0 


82.00 


5,520,009 


99.0 


42.00 


28,459,628 


99.0 


61.94 


148,087,027 








91.4 


59.64 



PROTESTANT 
COUNTRIES. 



Victoria 

Sweden 

Switzerland... 
Netherlands.. 

Germany 

Denmark 

Great Britain. 
United States . 



Total.... 
Average 







o 


«i 


Is 


a-g 









u o 






Ph 


PhUi 


1,009,753 


73.0 


4,682,769 


99.0 


2,846,102 


59.0 


4,336,012 


66.0 


46,852,680 


62.6 


1,980,259 


99.0 


30,066,646 


93.3 


57,928,609 


86.4 

79.78 


149,702,830 





o . 



PhS 



.035 

.30 

.30 

10.50 

1.27 

.36 

11.09 

9.40 



*From Indian Witness, 1890. 



176 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

These figures, being fairly compared, teach very important 
lessons, especially at this time. They show : 

Sixty illiterates out of every one hundred is Rome's average where she 
has a fair chance. Four illiterates out of every one hundred is the Prot- 
estant record, using round numbers in both cases. That is, the Roman 
group turns out fourteen thousand three hundred and forty-three times 
as many ignoramuses as the Protestant group. There is no doubt she has 
many j)rofoundly learned men in her fold. But Romish influence on pop- 
ular education, where she is unhindered, is the influence of the upas-tree. 
It blights and kills. Study the two Americas, North and South. The 
one is under a pall of mental and spiritual darkness. The other basks in 
the rays that shine from the common school and an open Bible.* 

A study of the above table and the exhibits from which it 
was compiled draws ont also three significant facts, as follows, 
on which our readers can reflect : 

Fact number one : In Rome there are one pope, thirty cardinals, thirty- 
five bishops, one thousand four hundred and sixty-nine priests, two 
thousand two hundred and fifteen nuns, and three thousand monks. Fact 
number two : In Rome over one hundred thousand of the population can 
neither read nor write. Fact number three : The Romish Church says it 
is in favor of education, and wants us to allow it to have its own way in 
this matter, as it has had in Italy, Mexico, and elsewhere. 

To leave the United States any longer unchecked all men 
would soon believe, as we do, in the charter of human rights, and 
millions would accept along with this the inspiring soul of our 
Anglo-Saxon civilization — the original and procuring elements 
of our elevation in the public school, the open Bible, and the 
evangelical creed. To see this great country, with a territory 
larger than all Europe, grow up on such foundations as these, 
with the almost certainty within sixty years more of having a 
population, mostly Protestant, equal in number to the present 
population of Europe, standing then peerless in unity, influence, 
and power among the nations of the earth, remodeling the 
world by its high example, was a prospect that the papacy and 
the despotism of the Old "World could not endure! Hence 

* William Wheeler, in Pittsburg Christian Advocate. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 177 

their hatred, their desperation, and their efforts for the over- 
throw of the United States as their ultimate object. General 
Grant so regarded it, and few men were more far-sighted than 
he. He was not deceived by the fact that Mexico was at first 
placed in the foreground, as if that were all that was aimed at. 
In the last pages that he ever wrote, when dying at Mount 
McGregor, this subject engaged his thoughts. He says : 

Under pretense of protecting their citizens these nations seized upon 
Mexico as a foot-hold for establishing a European monarchy upon our con- 
tinent, thus threatening our peace at home. I, myself, regarded this as 
a direct act of war against the United States by the powers engaged, 
and supposed as a matter of course that the United States would treat it 
as such when their hands were free to strike. * 

Maximilian, having chosen his cabinet from among the Con- 
servatives, gave himself to the consolidation of his empire. 
But no man ever undertook to found an empire amid such dif- 
ficulties. Nor was this due to the fact that a state of war sur- 
rounded him, carried on by troops that were not under his 
control ; nor was the chief obstacle the lack of funds for neces- 
sary expenses, nor in the conviction that the nation failed to 
come to his standard. All these and other discouragements 
loomed up before him, but the chief trouble he found in the 
heart and purpose of Archbishop Labastida in Mexico and the 
pontiff in Rome. 

The archduke had been promised during his visit to the 
Yatican that he should receive the constant benediction of the 
holy father, and that a nuncio would soon be sent who would 
be his confidential adviser. Month after month went by, and 
no nuncio came, though Maximilian's embassador at Rome con- 
stantly urged the emperor's desires and expectations. He was left 
to the guidance of the hierarchy in Mexico (as was no doubt 
intended). They made their demands, backed up the allocution 
of the holy father for the reversal of all that the nation had 
done in the interest of self-government. This mediseval docu- 

* Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, vol. ii, p. 545. 



178 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

ment had been ignored by the Republican leaders, but Maximil- 
ian was now expected to carry out its entire provisions. 

Chevalier, as a French Romanist, was amazed to find this 
allocution demanding of Mexico what the pope would not dare 
require of France or of any other European country, as they had 
all in succession done exactly as Mexico had done. It seemed 
to him that the pope was speaking with " a double voice " in 
thus condemning Mexico for what he allowed unrebuked in 
larger countries. What this distinguished writer expresses of 
his astonishment in finding the papacy taking this stand in 
the New "World, and attempting to found a monarchy on doc- 
trines rejected by the intelligence and conscience of all the old 
States of Christendom, so as to force into acceptance a type of 
political Romanism three hundred years behind date, gives the 
true interpretation to the events now opening before us. It 
explains why Maximilian failed, and how deliberately wicked 
were those who sent him to this continent to do such work, 
that they might spread by force their system of absolutism over 
lands already enlightened and free ! 

Maximilian soon realized the injustice of the demands of the 
allocution, and refused to carry out its decrees concerning relig- 
ious intolerance, the recall of the Jesuits, and the restoration of 
clerical estates sold under former laws. To reverse this would 
cause a greater revolution than the one which had brought it 
about, the number of titles having multiplied into the thou- 
sands, and the nation would not justify the attempt. His cabi- 
net stood with him in this resolution. Finally, by decree, on 
December 27, 1864, he ordered the continuation of the sales of 
the former ecclesiastical property. It now became the turn of 
the clericals to become alarmed, and they eagerly looked for 
the nuncio to head off the liberal tendencies of their emperor. 
In this matter and the consequences which resulted it was neces- 
sary to have evidence ready for every statement, as so many 
contradictory representations were made. The writer realized 
this need so imperatively that he returned to Mexico and spent 
several months looking for reliable information, and was fortu- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 179 

nate in finding what was required. When the empire collapsed 
its archives fell into the hands of the republican government, 
and were made available. The Official Daily Journal, with 
A T oluminous correspondence, pamphlets, and books, explained 
what could not be otherwise understood. Some of these vol- 
umes contain the very information necessary at this point, and 
especially the one entitled La Corte de Roma y el JEmperador 
Maximiliano. It furnishes the documents which passed be- 
tween the two courts, and, besides, contains confidential letters 
written by Maximilian and Carlota, which shed full light upon 
the sad situation and the pressure brought to bear upon the 
unfortunate emperor to compel him to do the will of the pope 
and his curia; how Archbishop Labastida and the nuncio 
used their influence, almost to the point of torture, till at last, 
maddened by the persistent goading, Maximilian threw off their 
hold and broke with them, but too late either to save his em- 
pire or life, or the reason of the empress ! 

We first present the leading portion of the pope's letter, or 
protest, to Maximilian, dated October 18, 1864, which was ex- 
pected to spur him to the duty before him. It reads : 

Sire : When in the month of April last, before assuming the reins of the 
new empire of Mexico, your majesty arrived at this capital in order to 
worship at the tomb of the holy apostles and to receive our apostolic ben- 
ediction, we informed you of the deep sorrow which filled our soul by 
reason of the lamentable state into which the social disorders during the 
past few years have reduced all that concerns religion in the Mexican 
nation. 

Before that time more than once we had made known our complaints 
in public and solemn acts, protesting against the iniquitous law called 
"The Law of Reform," which attacked the most inviolable rights of the 
Church and outraged the authority of its pastors, against the seizure of the 
ecclesiastical property, the dissipation of the sacred patrimony, and the 
unjust suppression of the religious orders. 

For these reasons your majesty must have well understood how happy 
we were to see — thanks to the establishment of a new empire — the dawn of 
pacific and prosperous days for the Church in Mexico; a joy that was in- 
creased when we saw called to the throne a prince of a Catholic family, 
and one who has given so many proofs of religious zeal and piety. Equally 



180 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

intense was the joy of the worthy Mexican bishops who had the happi- 
ness of being the first to pay their sincere homage to the sovereign-elect 
of their country, and of hearing from his own lips the most complete as- 
surances of his firm resolution to redress the wrongs done to the Church 
and to reorganize the disturbed elements of civil and religious adminis- 
tration. . . . 

Under such auspices we have been waiting day by day the acts of the 
new empire, persuaded that the Church, outraged with so much impunity 
by the revolution, would receive prompt and just redress, whether by 
the revocation of the laws which had reduced it to such a state of oppres- 
sion and servitude, or by the promulgation of others adapted to the sup- 
pression of the disastrous effects of an injurious administration. . . . 

Ah, sire, in the name of that faith and piety which are the ornaments of 
your august family ; in the name of the Church, whose supreme chief and 
pastor God has constituted us, in the name of Almighty God, who has 
chosen you to rule over so Catholic a nation with the sole purpose of heal- 
ing her ills, and of restoring the honor of his holy religion, we earnestly 
conjure you to put your hands to the work, and laying aside every human 
consideration, and guided solely by an enlightened wisdom and your 
Christian feelings, dry up the tears of so interesting a portion of the Catho- 
lic family, and by such worthy conduct merit the blessings of Jesus Christ, 
the prince of pastors. 

"With this purpose, and in compliance with your own wishes, we send 
you our representative. . . . 

We have instructed him to ask at once from your majesty, and in our 
name, the revocation of the unjust laws which for so long a time have op- 
pressed the Church. 

Your majesty is well aware that, in order effectively to repair the 
evils occasioned by the revolution, and to bring back as soon as possible 
happy days for the Church, the Catholic religion must, above all things, 
continue to be the glory and the mainstay of the Mexican nation, to the 
exclusion of every other dissenting icorshijj; that the bishops must be per- 
fectly free in the exercise of their pastoral ministry ; that the religious or- 
ders should be re-established or reorganized, that no person may obtain 
the faculty of teaching false and subversive tenets ; that instruction, 
whether public or private, should be directed and watched over by the 
ecclesiastical authority; and that, in short, the chains may be broken 
which up to the present time have held the Church in a state of depend- 
ence and subject to the arbitrary rule of civil government. . . . And, 
besides, you will give a striking example to the other governments of 
the republics in America, in which similar very lamentable vicissi- 
tudes have tried the Church; and, lastly, you will labor effectually 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 181 

to consolidate your throne, to the glory and prosperity of your imperial 
family. 

Confidently hoping to see these most ardent desires of our heart, we 
»end to your majesty ami to your august spouse our apostolic bene- 
diction. 

Given at Rome, in our Apostolic Palace of the Vatican, 18th Oct., 1864. 

Pius IX.* 

The nuncio, Monseigneur Meglia, bearing the above letter 
duly arrived and was received with all the honors usually ac- 
corded to a messenger from the "holy see," and the anxious 
emperor hoped with his aid to arrive at some satisfactory ar- 
rangement notwithstanding the dubious character of the pope's 
communication. 

On the day after the nuncio's arrival an interview was ac- 
corded, but Maximilian was surprised to find him quite non- 
committal. It soon became manifest that his policy was one 
of passive resistance. He allowed Maximilian to do the talk- 
ing, and when requested to represent the pope's views of the 
situation and of how the various difficulties were to be met and 
overcome, he would fall back on his phrase that he " had 
no instructions," the pope's epistle was enough, and marked the 
duty expected of Maximilian. No matter what were the bar- 
riers in the way of reversing the acts of the nation which the 
emperor pointed out, this was the invariable answer. The 
terms of the pontiff were not to be discounted ; it was these or 
nothing. Maximilian soon realized that this policy of the nun- 
cio was disrespectful and embarrassing to the last degree. So, 
hoping to develop some concession, he took these two proposi- 
tions from his programme and handed them to the nuncio for 
his consideration : 

First. The Mexican government tolerates all forms of worship which 
were formerly forbidden by the laws of the country, but concedes its 
especial protection to the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman, as the religion 
of the State. 

* History of the French Intervention in Mexico, by E. Lefevre, official documents 
taken from the archives of Maximilian, vol. ii, p. 16, etc. Brussels and London, 
1869. Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia, 1865, p. 749, etc. 



182 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Second. The public treasury shall provide for the expenses of public 
worship, and shall pay its ministers in the same way and in the same pro- 
portion and under the same title as the other servants of the state. 

The next morning the nuncio sent to Senor Escudero, the 
minister of justice, his conclusions upon them. We need only 
quote that on liberty of worship ; he says : 

Touching some of the points of this proposition, I have disapproved the 
first, on the tolerance of worship (other than Catholic), as contrary to the 
doctrines of the Church, and the desire of the Mexican nation, which is all 
Catholic* 

Just at this time Marshal Bazaine arrived in Mexico, and on 
understanding the situation at once took sides with the emperor 
and against the demands of the nuncio and hierarchy in the in- 
terest of the nation's right and peace. Maximilian seems to 
have exhausted all his patience in trying to bring this haughty 
ecclesiastic to a reasonable course, but in vain. The members 
of his ministry then tried, but they too failed. Last of all, the 
empress resolved to see what her negotiation with him could 
do to effect a settlement which the nation might be led to en- 
dure. Yet, after subjecting herself to his lordly manner, she 
too had to give up the effort. The emperor's advisers urged 
him to send an embassy, accompanied by two special councilors, 
to place the difficulties before the pope, in hope of a better under- 
standing. The result showed that this effort was of no avail to 
turn the Roman curia from their purpose to force Maximilian 
to act according to the lines laid down in the allocution. 

One more effort was made by the ministry to bring the 
nuncio to some reasonable ground, but it was equally unsuccess- 
ful. We present the closing paragraph of his reply, where our 
readers will be amazed to read the new and pompous title he 
confers upon the pontiff (italics ours) : 

I take the liberty to request that you will beg his majesty, who is de- 
votedly attached to the holy father, to abstain from taking any steps 
contrary to the Church and its laws, that he may not add to the sorrow of 

* La Corte de Roma y el Emperador Maximiliano, p. 52. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 183 

a pontiff so good, and who has suffered so much, and that he await the 
oracle of His Beatitude, which can only redound to the glory of religion 
and to the true welfare of his majesty the emperor.* 

Tired out with the long delay and resistance of the nuncio, 
Maximilian resolved to act for himself and the nation, and 
proclaim a constitutional system for his empire, as the only 
chance of its establishment. So on the 27th of December, 
1864, he wrote to his secretary of state : 

In order to overcome the difficulties which have arisen regarding the 
so-called " Laws of Reform," we have purposed to adopt a means which, 
while it shall satisfy the just demands of the country, shall have for its 
object the re- establishment for all the inhabitants of the empire of tran- 
quillity of mind and peace of conscience. To this end we endeavored 
when in Rome to open negotiations with the holy father as the universal 
chief of the Catholic Church. 

The apostolic nuncio has come to Mexico, but, to our great surprise, 
has declared that he is not provided with instructions to negotiate. The 
difficult situation, prolonged now for six months, no longer admits of 
delay. It must soon be brought to a conclusion. Consequently we charge 
you to propose to us immediately measures whose object shall be: 

Justice to all without respect to persons. 

The legitimate interests created by the laws of reform to be guaranteed 
without hinderance to the measures necessary to be taken to repair the in- 
justice and excuses to which said laws have given occasion. 

The support of divine worship and the safeguard of religion to be pro- 
vided for. 

And, lastly, the sacraments and the other functions of the ecclesiastical 
ministry to be exercised throughout the empire free of charge. 

In order to this you will submit to us at once a plan for the revision 
of the operation regarding mortmain property conveyed to the clergy. 

Finally, you will be guided by the most ample principles of religious 
toleration, without losing from sight that the religion of the State is the 
Catholic, Apostolic Roman. Maximilian, t 

This outline of the emperor's policy startled the clerical fac- 
tion, who had all along bitterly fought these very same liberal 
ideas when put forward by Juarez and the Republican party. 
The bishops sent a protest, bitterly condemning his action. 

* La Corte de Roma, p. 53. f Ibid. 

15 



184 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Though it lies before us we can only quote one sentence show- 
ing its character. They say, " "With regard to religious toler- 
ance we can see nothing that renders it, not to say urgent, but 
even excusable." 

Cardinal Antonelli again wrote in the same strain, warning 
Maximilian not to fail to recognize his " true interests and the 
real purpose of the mission " which God had confided to him 
by obedience to the course marked out for him by the pontiff. 

The manifesto of the bishops drew forth a reply from Maxi- 
milian that fell like a thunder-bolt in their camp. Boldly 
does he dare before the nation to tell them that their previous 
assertion of never having occupied themselves in politics is un- 
true, that they have resisted the State, producing revolutions 
and securing for themselves temporal possessions to the neglect 
and injury of their flocks. Even Juarez could hardly have 
lectured these guilty prelates more harshly than does this im- 
perial manifesto. He says : 

You state that the Mexican Church has never taken part in political 
events. Would to God it had been so ! But unhappy proofs exist which 
demonstrate clearly that even the dignitaries of the Church have flung 
themselves into the revolutions, and that a portion of the clergy have ex- 
hibited a very active resistance against the State. Confess, my well- 
esteemed prelates, that the Mexican Church, by a lamentable fatality, has 
mingled too much in politics and in affairs of temporal possessions, neg- 
lecting, in consequence, the Catholic instructions of its flocks. Yes; the 
Mexican people are pious and good, but they are not yet, for the most 
part, Catholic, in the true sense of the holy gospels, and it is not their 
fault. They need to be instructed, to receive the sacraments as the Gos- 
pel ordains, gratuitously. But Mexico will be Catholic, I assure you. 
Suspect, if you will, my Catholicism ; Europe has long known my senti- 
ments ; the holy father knows my thought. The Churches of Germany 
and of Jerusalem, that are to the Archbishop of Mexico as to me, bear wit- 
ness for me on that point. But, just and good Catholic as I am, I will be 
also a just and liberal prince. Receive the expression of my affection. 

Maximilian.* 

Maximilian was left by this with a very limited clerical sup- 
port. They put him in a position where no man with a con- 

* Christian World, voL xvi, 1865, p. 158. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 185 

science could succeed, and then fell away because he could not 
do what they demanded. "What was said at Rome is reported 
by the well-informed editor of these confidential letters : 

We know by the mouth of persons to whom Pope Pius IX. said it, not 
long since, that he considered the Mexican empire as a thing that could 
not last long. He said : ' ' Maximilian commits many errors in Mexico. 
He cannot hold himself up. He should lean solely on the clergy and be 
governed by them alone. But on the contrary he asks things which cannot 
be granted to him, because they are contrary to his own interests." * 

ISTo wonder that, thus surrounded with uncertainty and gloom 
and clerical intolerance, the following sad and confidential letter 
to a friend was wrung from the heart of the Empress Carlota. 
It was written early in January, 1865, and gives the inside 
view of matters. She writes : 

Your kind letter, I repeat, has caused me a double pleasure, because it 
is at once a proof of your remembrance and of the friendship which ever 
unites us. To speak frankly, we need friendship just now, because the 
situation is far from improving. I do not know if you are aware that the 
holy father, who has a merry disposition, says often of himself that he is 
" jettatore" (playful). So it is a fact that since his envoy set foot on our 
soil we have had nothing but disappointments, and can only expect soon 
to have many more. The clergy, wounded to death by the letter of De- 
cember 27, are not easily appeased ; all the old abuses elude the efforts 
of the emperor to remedy. We have here, perchance, not fanaticism, 
but such a dull and painful tenacity that I believe it impossible for the 
members now forming the clergy ever to form anew. What shall be 
done with them? That is the question. ... It is a month now since we 
entered upon a serious crisis. If we pass through it victoriously the 
future of the Mexican empire is assured ; if not, I know not what may 
come about. For the first six months every one pronounced the govern- 
ment perfect; now, touch any thing, interfere in the least, and you are 
cursed. . . . 

The army is decreasing, and with it the material forces of the govern- 
ment. What is needed is soldiers. The Austrians and Belgians are very 
well in time of calm, but let the tempest come, and we see only red trou- 
sers (French). I believe it is going to be very difficult for us to pass 
through the first vital crisis unless the country is more extensively occupied 

* La Corte de Roma, p. 89. 



186 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

than at present. Every thing is greatly scattered, and it seems to me that 
instead of withdrawing in the least, it is necessary to increase. . . . 

In case of need we can retire, as Juarez did, to a distant province, or re- 
turn to the place from whence we came ; but France must triumph, first, 
because she is France, and, second, because her honor is at stake.* 

The nuncio's last effort was to address a communication to 
the emperor so dictatorial in character that the ministry re- 
sented it and informed the nuncio that he was presuming to 
interfere with matters which had not been submitted to him, 
which the government reserved for its own action. The minis- 
ter of justice bravely stated to him : 

Those who allow themselves to be carried away by an extravagant zeal 
and push the papacy beyond its limits and despoil it of its character 
forget the severe lessons of history. 

And against the nuncio's efforts to subjugate the emperor to 
the will of the pope they say : 

Maximilian, a citizen and member of the Christian communion, bows 
with respect and submission before the spiritual authority of the common 
father of the faithful ; but Maximilian, the emperor and representative 
of the Mexican sovereignty, does not recognize any power on earth supe- 
rior to his own. Consequently I cannot accept the thought which possi- 
bly may have escaped your excellency, in exalting the sovereignty and in- 
dependence of the Roman pontiff, to the effect that the emperor should 
obey him as his subject. Allow me to respectfully suggest to you that 
said word is most improper. 

The emperor and the pope have both received directly from God their 
full and absolute power, each within his respective limits. Between 
equals there can be no subjection. This Bossuet himself also says, and it 
is a precept taught by an authority superior to his, that of the divine 
code of Christianity. 

We must now observe what Providence had been doing 
outside in aid of the cause of liberty in Mexico by restraining 
the enemies of that cause, who were so anxious to weaken the 
influence of the United States, so as to hinder her efforts to 
help Mexico. 

* La Corte de Roma, p. 24. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 187 



CHAPTER VII. 

England and recognition — Beecher's effort — Cotton-spinners of Lancashire — 
"Kicked out of Rome" — Papal missive to "Lincoln & Co." — Recognition of 
Jeff Davis by the pontiff — Outline of policy — Interview with Juarez sought 
by Maximilian — Confidential letter of the emperor — False proclamation con- 
cerning Juarez — " The Black Decree " — Execution of Arteaga and Salazar — 
Letters — Libro Rojo — Santa Anna — Sudden departure of the empress — Inter- 
view with the pope — Incurable insanity — French troops withdrawn — The 
emperor's attempted departure — Interference of French and clericals — Sheri- 
dan at Rio Grande. 

The sympathy of the Confederate States with the French 
Intervention was a matter of anxiety to our government. 
That sympathy became active along the line of the Rio 
Grande when it resisted the republican force under General 
Negrete and tried to intercept the bearers of dispatches be- 
tween President Juarez and his minister at Washington, thus 
acting as allies of the French emperor. Jefferson Davis tells 
us of how much value they were to him and his cause. Na- 
poleon ardently desired to recognize the Confederacy, and 
urged the British government to join him in such recognition. 
Mr. Davis says : 

Napoleon was anxious to go beyond this, and so was the pope of Rome, 
and they only. . . . Napoleon's efforts looking toward the breaking of 
our blockade met with refusal from England, the country whose artisans 
were the chief sufferers by the cotton famine.* 

How hard Mr. Davis tried to induce the Emperor of the 
French to authorize the construction of war-vessels for the 
Confederate navy, in order to prey upon the commerce of the 
United States, is well known to the readers of the work of Mr. 
J. Bigelow, our minister to France in 1862-68. f 

* Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, by J. Davis, p. 618. 
\ France and the Confederate Navy, by J. Bigelow. 



188 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Far more important for us and for Mexico was the position 
taken by England in the question of recognition. Had she 
thrown her influence against us, long years might have been 
added to the sad struggle, or the North, for the sake of peace, 
might have allowed the South to go. This might not have 
ended the contest or saved republicanism in Mexico, but it 
might have compelled us, as Motley wrote, 

To build a Chinese wall of custom-houses and forts across the widest part 
of the American continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and keep 
an army of three hundred thousand men perpetually on foot, and a navy 
to match, in order to watch the nation on the other side of that wall and 
fight it every half-dozen years or so, together with its European allies. 
The present war, even if it lasts ten years longer, is cheaper in blood and 
money than the adoption of such a system.* 

There were special difficulties in the way of England's com- 
plete understanding of our cause. The tory class was jealous of 
our democratic views and of our growing power, and was will- 
ing to see us weakened and divided. In regard to the position 
actually taken by the English government it is satisfactory to 
have the assurance which has lately appeared over the signature 
of Hon. "W. E. Gladstone. He writes : 

As a member of the cabinet of Lord Palmerston, and now nearly its 
sole surviving member, I can state that it never at any time dealt with 
the subject of recognizing the Southern State3 in your great civil war, ex- 
cepting when it learned the proposition of the Emperor Napoleon III., 
and declined to entertain that proposition without qualification, delay, or 
dissent. . . . You will, I am sure, be glad to learn that there is no founda- 
tion for a charge which, had it been true, might have aided in keeping 
alive angry sentiments happily gone by. 

This is decisive, coming, as it does, from the highest au- 
thority. 

Among the leading journals of England, also, there were 
some which could rise above the superficial aspect of matters 
and do justice to the United States in their anticipation of the 
inevitable results, and this, too, as early as 1863. The London 

* Correspondence of J. L. Motley, vol. ii, p. 77. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 189 

Morning Advertiser closed one of its able articles in the fol- 
lowing strain : 

It strikes us there is no doubt whatever that, in due season, Napoleon 
will have to meet the United States, for they will again be united, in the 
field of mortal conflict, to defend his right to interpose in a continent 
severed from his own empire by rolling oceans. It will be to no purpose 
to plead that a consul was insulted, or that a French merchant was mal- 
treated. These are things for which it is easy to provide a remedy. Such 
things furnish no reasonable ground for the transfer of an army and the 
invasion of a country. In the event of such a war, which we take to be 
absolutely certain, Napoleon will find that his present glory is purchased 
with a fearful reversion. It will be found that the United States is at 
once training both troops and generals, and that, should the day arrive 
when they resolve to hurl the French into the Pacific, and to undo their 
work in Mexico, it will be found that they are once more confronted, in 
effect, with the steel of England — that of England's sons — and it will then 
behoove the emperor, should he not have changed his lodgings at the Tuil- 
eries long before, to mind what he is about. 

The North was not alert in placing its cause before Europe ; 
the agents of the Confederacy were more than a year in advance, 
manufacturing opinion favorable to the Confederacy, before 
our government realized the importance of having our cause 
rightly understood there. Our friends were at first denied a 
hearing in many leading cities. The biography of Henry "Ward 
Beecher is interesting on this theme. He, among others, went 
to England determined to be heard, that the British public 
might be undeceived. After careful study he decided that the 
friends of the North were to be found among the middle class 
and the laboring people, with a few of the upper classes, the 
queen and prince consort, the Quakers, and religious folk 
generally. 

In some of the meetings which he was to address, in Man- 
chester and Liverpool especially, the mob would howl so that 
it was almost impossible to speak. When a lull occurred Mr. 
Beecher would throw in a few words, the beginning of some 
incident or story, till finally the pauses became longer as their 
attention was gained, and the very disturbers were soon found 



190 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

applauding the sentiments lie uttered. His biographer gives us 
an account of what proved to be the greatest of his triumphs in 
changing, within two hours, prejudiced and mistaken foes of 
the North into its cordial friends and well-wishers. 

This event occurred at Manchester on the 9th of October, 
1863, in the Free Trade Hall, an immense room capable of hold- 
ing from five to six thousand people. It was full. The great 
crowd at last consented to be quiet and hear Mr. Beecher for 
his cause. As he went on he realized that he was gaining all 
the time on their good- will. 

Toward the close of his address a telegram was passed up to the chair- 
man of the meeting, who rend it, and then rose and said a word to Mr. 
Beecher, who paused, and the chairman then said to the audience, "I hold 
in my hand, just received, a telegram from London stating that her 
majesty has to-night caused the ' Broad Arrow ' to be placed on the rams 
in Mr. Laird's ship-yard at Birkenhead." This meant a stoppage of those 
ships which were being built by Messrs. Laird for Confederate cruis- 
ers. The effect was startling. The whole audience rose to its feet and 
cheered and waved their hats, while women waved their handkerchiefs 
and wept. A howling mob was transformed into a friendly crowd, while 
hundreds hurried to the platform to shake hands with the eloquent de- 
fender of the North.* 

The last page ever written by Mr. Beecher was on this sub- 
ject. He had been requested by The Century Magazine to 
prepare an article on his English tour in 1863. On the morn- 
ing after his death the unfinished article was found in his desk, 
the closing words of which were : 

A more pathetic example of the heroism of the poor was never exhibited 
than in the case of the Lancashire weavers. They saw their industries 
wasting, their bread grew scarce, even their poverty became poorer, nor 
was there any sign upon the horizon that this cloud would soon pass away, 
and yet they held fast in their integrity ; and, believing the cause of the 
North was the cause of the day-laborer the world over, they patiently 
bore famine and distress with fortitude until the day dawned. No other 
men among all English-speaking people gave a testimony of the love of 
liberty so heroic and so pathetic as the weavers of Lancashire. 

* Biography of H. W. Beecher, p. 410. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 191 

Early in the year 1863 these working-men of Manchester 
sent Mr. Lincoln a letter, to which he gave a grateful and 
cordial reply. They, although greatly suffering in consequence 
of the war, sent him their sympathy ; and in his reply he 
said to them : 

It has been often and studiously represented that the attempt to over- 
throw this government, which was built upon the foundation of human 
rights, and to substitute for it one which should rest exclusively upon the 
basis of human slavery, was likely to obtain the favor of Europe. Through 
the action of our disloyal citizens the working-men of Europe have been 
subjected to severe trial for the purpose of forcing their sanction to that 
attempt. 

Under these circumstances I cannot but regard your decisive utterances 
upon the question as an instance of sublime Christian heroism, which has 
not been surpassed in any age or in any country. I do not doubt that 
the sentiments you have expressed will be sustained by your great nation ; 
and on the other hand I have no hesitation in assuring you that they will 
excite admiration, esteem, and the most reciprocal feelings of friendship 
among the American people.* 

The attitude of the papacy during our civil war was a source 
of anxiety to our government and to thoughtful men. Indi- 
vidual exceptions there were, undoubtedly, but the general 
trend of the Roman Church was unfriendly. As if by a subtle 
instinct the lowest member discerned that he could have no in- 
terest in preventing the power of this nation from being crip- 
pled, or its prestige as the great Protestant republic destroyed. 
Their vote was generally thrown against the war, as the enemies 
of our country at home and abroad desired. For a contrast 
look at the various Protestant sects of our land, and see how 
loyally they rallied to the help of our government to the last hour 
of the conflict. There is a reason for this marked distinction; 
our downfall would have been the failure of Protestantism at 
its culminating point. It is a curious thing to compare the 
stern refusal of the Romish authorities in Mexico to permit 
the Protestant soldiers of the Intervention to have the use 
of a place of worship in which to hold divine service in the 

* Holland's Lift of Lincoln, p. 41 9. 



192 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

city of Mexico with what so recently had happened in Rome. 
Since 1850 Americans in the " Eternal City " had been in the 
habit of meeting for a simple religious service on the Lord's 
day in a private house. Major-General Cass, our embassador 
to Rome, and Mr. King, our consul, supported the service. Even 
singing was sometimes omitted to avoid giving the intolerants 
a motive to complain. But it became known that the service 
was held, and a demand was made for its suppression. The in- 
fluence of our embassador with the papal government postponed 
this for a time. Rev. G. H. Hastings was pastor of the little 
congregation. When word reached this country that such a 
service was held in Rome the bigoted Roman Catholic papers, 
instead of advising that the service should have the same liberty 
so fully granted to their Church in the United States, flamed up 
and professed to be horrified at the idea of a Protestant service 
in Rome ! The editor of the Freeman's Journal, the organ of 
Archbishop Hughes in New York, wrote an article misrepre- 
senting the service, which was in English, for English-speaking 
people exclusively, and then adds : " Mr. Hastings can do 
nothing, as the very first convert be should make he would be 
kicked out of Rome, though Mr. Cass should bundle up his 
traps and follow him." * This written under the Stars and 
Stripes of our glorious freedom ! " Kicked out of Rome ! " As 
though liberty of conscience was not as dear in Rome as in 
New York or London ! Yet if Cardinal Wiseman converted 
an Englishman, who talked of " kicking" him out of London ? 
or Archbishop Hughes out of New York if he converted an 
American % Yet in this spirit of intolerance Pius IX. ordered 
the suppression of the little Protestant service ! The " pious " 
pope of the nineteenth century proved less tolerant than the 
infamous Nero of the first. The emperor of pagan Rome 
allowed Paul to preach undisturbed in his " hired house " for 
years, and " to receive all who came unto him," preaching and 
teaching with all confidence, " no man forbidding him." Even 
the personal troops of the emperor were the objects of his 

* Christian World, vol. ii, p. 203. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 193 

ministry — "the whole pretorian guard" (Phil, i, 3, Rev. Yer.) 
and " saints in Caesar's household " sent their salutation to Chris- 
tians every-where. No wonder that God so soon after ended 
this worse than pagan bigotry by wresting from the papal 
grasp the power which it so misused. Mr. Hastings had the 
right to re-open his services, and Yictor Emmanuel provided that 
no man should "kick him out of Rome" for making a convert, 
but would have rather rejoiced had he made ten thousand in 
the city ! 

Ere this happened General Cass, returning home, was elected 
to the Senate of the United States from Michigan. The ques- 
tion of Romish intolerance toward the living and the dead 
came up, and he made a grand speech on the right of Ameri- 
cans to freedom of religious worship and Christian burial wher- 
ever they may be, and the question was referred to the Commit- 
tee on Foreign Relations. A few weeks later, when Congress 
was taking the vote on supply, some one moved that the lega- 
tion at Rome be left without an appropriation, which ended it, 
and thus another of the temporal dignities of Pius IX. passed 
away. This " sovereign," occupying such a precarious throne, 
was desperately anxious to exert his influence in our conflict, 
that he might " ride on the whirlwind and direct the storm " 
according to his own interests. The measure he tried first was 
by directing a pastoral to his archbishops of New York and 
New Orleans, authorizing them in his name to convey his 
wishes as "the administrator of the vicegerent work of Him 
who is the Author of Peace " to our " chief rulers and people." 
"With their subordinate bishops as commissioners of the pontiff 
of Christendom they were to undertake to settle our national 
troubles by the utterance of platitudes from one who was not 
invited to interfere at such a time, when the appeal had been 
made to the Lord God of Hosts, to give the victory to the side 
which he espoused. There was a well-known cause for the 
war, but the pope did not touch it nor state the remedy — " to 
break every yoke and let the oppressed go free ! " He did 
not send his commissioners with that message to Jefferson 



194: MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Davis and so end the war by extinguishing its cause, if they 
would but obey him. No, the papal commissioners were to 
expostulate with Washington and the Northern people, not 
with Richmond and the South. 

Remembering that Abraham Lincoln and the Congress are 
pointed at, let us note a few sentences from this papal pastoral : 

Apply all your study and exertion, with the people and their chief rulers, 
to restore forthwith the desired tranquillity and peace. 

Neither omit to admonish and exhort the people and their supreme rulers 
even in our name. 

"We are confident that they would comply with our paternal admonitions. 

"We have no hesitation, venerable brothers, but that, calling to your aid 
the services of your associate bishops, you would abundantly satisfy these 
our wishes, and by your wise and prudent efforts Tyring a matter of such 
moment to a happy termination* 

How flattering must have been the self-conceit that could im- 
agine that the "name," "authority," and " paternal admonitions" 
of this curious old man could " restore forthwith the desired 
tranquillity and peace ! " Think of how Stanton and Seward 
would have listened to such au admonition to " bring a matter 
of such moment to a happy termination ! " Or imagine the 
president's face if he had listened to these commissioners of 
Pius IX. ! What a refreshing " admonition " would have been 
sent back "in the name of" Abraham Lincoln, importing that 
Italian priests should mind their own affairs and rectify their 
own great wrongs against civil and religious liberty, with some 
allusions to the unchristian treatment of Mr. Hastings at Rome, 
in the closing of the American chapel, with the ending of the 
legation at Rome thrown in as a clincher ! 

The archbishops did not deliver this message to those to 
whom it was nominally addressed, but it was given out to those 
who are not mentioned, and wrought its purpose by drying up 
the patriotism of many who took their politics as well as their 
religion from Rome, and had, it is feared, its effect in the draft 
riots in New York, and their attendant horrors a few months 

* Christian World, vol. xiv, p. 357. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 195 

later. Americans are not likely to forget Archbishop Hughes's 
address to the lawless crowd while those ruins were still 
smoking. 

Instead of taking warning by the issue of this intermeddling, 
the pontiff adopted a more open measure to aid the side he 
favored. Deeply disappointed that Napoleon conld not be in- 
duced to go forward alone and recognize the Confederacy, 
Jefferson Davis had been urging the pope to take the initiative 
under the idea that the Catholic powers would follow his lead, 
as they had done in generations past. It is evident from the 
letter that we are about to present that Davis was informed of 
the communications sent to the archbishops, by copies sent to 
himself. On the 23d of September Davis wrote direct to the 
pope, humbly thanking him for interfering on their side. It 
was sent by the hand of his agent, Colonel A. D. Mann, of Vir- 
ginia, who in a dispatch, to the Confederate secretary of state 
gives an account of the interview with Pius IX. Colonel Mann 
informs his chief that the pope, in referring to "the rulers of 
the other peoples of America," spoke of them as " Lincoln & 
Co.," *and then furnished his recognition and reply, as follows: 

LETTER OP PIUS IX. TO JEFFERSON DAVIS. 

Illustrious and Honorable President: We have just received 
-with all suitable welcome the persons sent by you to place in our hands 
your letter dated 23d of September last. Not slight was the pleasure we 
experienced when we learned, from these persons and the letter, with what 
feelings of joy and gratitude you were animated, illustrious and honorable 
president, as soon as you were informed of our letters to our venerable 
brothers, John, Archbishop of New York, and John, Archbishop of New 
Orleans, dated the 18th of October of lust year, and in which we have 
with all our strength excited and exhorted those venerable brothers that 
in their episcopal piety and solicitude they should endeavor with the 
most ardent zeal, and in our name, to bring about the end of the fatal 
civil war which has broken out in those countries, in order that the Amer- 
ican people may obtain peace and concord and dwell charitably together. 
It is particularly agreeable to us to see that you, illustrious and honorable 
president, and your people are animated with the same desire of peace and 

* The Century Magazine, May, 1891. 



196 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

tranquillity which we have in our letters inculcated upon our venerable 
brothers. May it please God at the same time to make the other peoples 
of America and their rulers, reflecting seriously how terrible is civil war, 
and what calamities it engenders, listen to the inspirations of a calmer 
spirit and adopt resolutely the part of peace. As for us, we shall not 
cease to offer up the most fervent prayers to God Almighty that he may 
pour out upon all the people of America the spirit of peace and charity, 
and that he will stop the great evils which afflict them. We at the same 
time beseech the God of mercy and pity to shed abroad upon you the light 
of his grace and attach you to us by a perfect friendship. 

Given at Rome at St. Peter's the 3d day of December, 1863, of our 
Pontificate 18. Pius IX. * 

"Who that reads the above letter and his pastoral to his bishops 
can doubt that the writer had already taken his side in the dis- 
pute ? His influence was thrown in favor of the South and 
made official by his recognition of the slave-holding Confed- 
eracy and its illustrious and honorable president ! The pope 
was the only sovereign power that did recognize it. Expecting 
that the Catholic nations would follow his lead, lie looked around 
to see France join his position, but she did not, nor Spain or 
Austria. Having no navy to give effect to his recognition, he 
had the mortification of knowing that his act was practically 
worth nothing to the South, while it revealed his real preference 
and position to the North and to the world at large. 

On the 8th of December, 1864, the pope issued the encyclical 
and syllabus (before referred to) addressed to all " patriarchs, 
primates, archbishops, and bishops in connection with the 
apostolic see throughout the world." They reiterate his de- 
nunciations of the errors and heresies of modern civilization, 
and in virtue of his "apostolic authority" reprobate and con- 
demn eighty " prominent errors," the holding of which (accord- 
ing to Pius IX.) cut ofi every one maintaining any of them 
from Heaven's grace or hope of mercy. The errors enumerated 
are not all that men hold or commit, but are those which assail 
principles which the papacy regards as dangerous to itself and 
the claims of its domination over mankind. The enlightened 
* Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia, 1863, vol. iii, p. 830. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 197 

reader, when he examines this list, will be amazed to find that 
some of these " errors," so bitterly denounced, are cherished 
items of his religious and political creed, held bj millions of 
the most intelligent men and women in this world, for the 
maintenance of which they would yield up life ; such as " the 
right of private judgment," " religious liberty," " freedom of 
worship " for all, and our " public school system." There are 
some other " errors " mentioned, " errors " which Protestants 
would denounce as firmly as he does, such as infidel socialism, 
divorce, or denial of divine rule in human affairs ; but, unlike 
him, we would not condemn nor persecute men for their opin- 
ions, but leave them to the just judgment of God. 

These fanatical documents may be found in full in The 
Papacy and the Civil Power, Thompson, Harpers, p. 721, 
and also in Rome and the Newest Fashions in Religion, 
"W. E. Gladstone, Harpers, p. 109. 

To give a general idea of the character of this encyclical, 
we copy here, from an able summary which appeared at the 
time, some of its leading points, where the pope condemns in 
the most unequivocal manner the foundation principles upon 
which our government rests, and which Mexico and the South 
American States had imitated, and against which he calls up 
the millions of his followers in this land to unite for their 
overthrow : 

1. The Catholic Church ought freely to exercise until the end of time a 
" salutary force, not only with regard to each individual man, but with re- 
gard to nations, peoples, and their rulers." 

2. The best condition of society is that in which the power of the laity 
is compelled to inflict the penalties of law upon violators of the Catholic 
religion. 

3. The opinion that "liberty of conscience and of worship is the right 
of every man, " is not only ' ' an erroneous opinion, very hurtful to the safety 
of the Catholic Church and of souls," but is also "delirium." 

4. Liberty of speech and the press is "the liberty of perdition." 

5. The judgments of the holy see, even when they do not speak of 
points of faith and morals, claim acquiescence and obedience, under pain 
of sin and loss of the Catholic profession. 



198 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

6. It is false to say "that every man is free to embrace and profess the 
religion he shall believe true," or that those who "embrace and profess 
any religion may obtain eternal salvation.' 1 

7. The " Church has the power of availing herself of force, or of direct 
or indirect temporal power." 

8. In a legal conflict " between the ecclesiastical and civil powers" the 
ecclesiastieal " ought to prevail." 

9. It is a false and pernicious doctrine that " public schools should be 
open without distinction to all children of the people and free from all 
ecclesiastical authority." 

10. It is false to say that the " principle of non-intervention must be 
proclaimed and observed." 

11. It " is necessary in the present day that the Catholic religion shall 
be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other 
modes of worship." * 

Protestants in general regarded the appearance of this re- 
markable document from the Yatican as a matter for thanks- 
giving. The liberalism of onr times had led many people to 
suppose that Romanism had really altered for the better, and 
that while many of its writers still kept up occasionally the 
role of intolerance the papacy itself had abandoned its denun- 
ciations of the evangelical faith and its followers. But the 
appearance of this portentous paper and the signature at the 
end settled that fond notion for all the future. Kind-hearted, 
tolerant people awoke from their dream and felt pained to be 
obliged to admit that here was evidence to which they could no 
longer close their eyes, furnishing a complete refutation of all 
apologies that had been made in times past respecting that 
semi-religious political power, the Roman hierarchy. 

Young Italy indignantly burned the document in the cities 
and villages, the press almost universally condemned it. Many 
ridiculed it as " post-dated by about three hundred years," and 
asserted that its author must have imagined himself living in 
the fifteenth century. Notwithstanding the liberal concordat 
that gives France special protection, Louis Napoleon was more 
indignant than any other ruler, as it helped to spoil his own 
* The Christian Advocate, New York, 1865. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 199 

work in Mexico and arrested its progress. He took measures 
to make the pope realize his annoyance. So the convention 
between him and Victor Emmanuel was made closer in regard to 
withdrawing his troops from Rome, and leaving the pope to the 
care of his own people. More important still, an imperial de- 
cree appointed Prince Jerome Bonaparte vice-president of the 
privy council, and, in case of the emperor's death, regent of the 
empire, thus changing the regency from the Empress Eugenie 
(who was regarded as wholly at the pope's service through 
her confessor) and conferring it upon one who had ever been 
opposed to French patronage of the papacy, and who, as son-in- 
law to Yictor Emmanuel, could be counted upon to favor the 
unity of Italy. This act was a terrible blow to the pope. This 
attempt of his to overthrow the leading, priceless privileges of 
modern civilization proved too much for even Roman Catholic 
nations, while free Protestant countries viewed it with con- 
tempt. There was the true ring of freedom in the speeches 
made in the parliaments of Italy, France, and other nations, 
rejecting the papal demand. The same was true of the legisla- 
tures of South America, and Mr. Bingham's grand utterance in 
the Congress of the United States will be long remembered. 
"We quote a few sentences : 

The syllabus is an attempt to fetter the freedom of conscience ; it is an 
attempt to fetter the freedom of speech ; it is an attempt to strike down the 
rising antagonism against every despotism on the face of the earth in the 
form of representative government, foremost among which is America, the 
child and hope of the earth's old age. . . . Do not the gentlemen know 
that the foremost of all the men reared in the faith of the Church of 
Rome . . . uttered the word while under the ban of Charles V., Leo X., 
and Henry VIII., which speaks to-day all over Christendom? I refer to the 
Augustine monk who found out for himself and repeated to mankind the 
great central fact which to-day possesses the enlightened mind of the nine- 
teenth century, that no mitered head may, in "the grace of God," or of di- 
vine right, interpose his dark shadow between man and his Maker. Under 
the omnipotent power of that utterance every tyrant, whether in Rome or 
out of it, holds to-day the reins of power with a tremulous and unsteady 
hand, and the dav is not far distant when the very throne of his power 
16 



200 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

shall turn to dust and ashes before the consuming breath of the enlight- 
ened public opinion of the civilized world, which declares for free govern- 
ment, free churches, free schools, free Bibles, and free men.* 

Thus was God opening a door of hope to Mexico even by the 
jealousies and self-seeking of their common enemy, and at the 
same time preparing the way for their overthrow and for her 
own deliverance. 

This papal effort was a failure as far as even Maximilian was 
concerned. Following the example of the other Roman Cath- 
olic governments in Europe, we find him and his cabinet forbid- 
ding the publication of the encyclical or any papal documents 
without imperial sanction previously obtained. This involved 
another collision with the clergy. The situation in the United 
States, where the North was gaining victories and power, and 
the attitude of the French Parliament and press had now begun 
to add seriously to Maximilian's anxieties. Favre and Thiers 
were friends of Mexican freedom, and resisted the emperor's 
policy as far as they dare, while the following extract from one 
of the leading French papers will show the public feeling : 

It is a sad thing to say, but we fear for our cash-boxes that peace may 
be made in the United States. The largest thorn we have in our foot is, 
incontestably, the Mexican affair, which trammels our finances and causes 
lively apprehension for the future. The equilibrium of our budget will 
feel for a long time, we think, the Mexican expedition. 

Maximilian had been trying to attract some of the Mexican 
Republicans to his cause, but they quietly repelled his advances. 
He now again took up the idea, which he had broached the year 
before to Baron de Pont, of Brussels, that an interview with 
President Juarez, if it could possibly be brought about, would 
greatly facilitate " in smoothing the difficulties and enlightening 
him (Juarez) on the views of the archduke for the good of the 
country he is called to rule over ! " This ridiculous proposal 
Maximilian now carried out, guaranteeing to " Senor Juarez " 
a safe conduct to any locality he might designate where the 

* Christian World, vol. xxi, p. 219. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 201 

meeting could take place, and was even foolish, enough to inti- 
mate motives of personal aggrandizement to induce the presi- 
dent to consent to such a consultation ! This incorruptible 
ruler answered the letter of Maximilian with dignity, as the 
republican chief of his nation. We quote its closing pas- 
sages : 

It is impossible for me to accede to this call; my official occupation 
will not admit of it. But if in the exercise of my public functions I could 
accept such an invitation, the public faith, the word and honor of an 
agent of Napoleon, the perjured, would not be sufficient — of a man whose 
safety reposes in the hands of Mexican traitors, and of a man who at this 
moment represents the cause of one of the parties who signed the treaty 
of Soledad. . . . 

I had previously noted when the traitors of my country presented 
themselves as commissioners at Miramar with the view of tendering 
to you the crown of Mexico — sustained only by the treacherous pro- 
ceedings of ten towns of the nation — that you had not seen in all these 
proceedings any thing more than a ridiculous farce unworthy totally 
of being seriously considered by an honorable and intelligent man. 
You replied to these frauds by demanding the will of the nation, freely 
expressed, as the result of its unanimous vote. "Why, therefore, should 
I not be surprised to see you come upon the Mexican soil when no 
measures have been adopted concerning the conditions exacted ? Why 
should I now not be astonished when I find you accepting the deceits 
of the traitors, adopting their language, decorating and placing in your 
service bandits like Marquez and Herran, and surrounding yourself with 
that low class of Mexican people ? I have, frankly speaking, been greatly 
deceived. 

You tell me that peace will result from the conference we may have, 
and with it the happiness of the Mexican people, and that the empire will 
hereafter, by placing me in an important position, have the benefit to be 
derived from my knowledge and the support of my patriotism. It is 
true, sir, contemporaneous history registers the names of great traitors 
who have proved false to their oaths, their promises, and their words, 
who have betrayed their former history and every thing that is sacred to 
the man of honor ; that in all their betrayals of all human relations the 
traitor has been guided by the infamous ambition of rule and the vile de- 
sires of pandering to his own passions and vices ; but the present incum- 
bent in the presidency of the republic, who rose from the obscure masses of 
the people, shall bow poor and full of misery, if in the arcana of Providence 
it is decreed that he shall so succumb, but complying with his oaths, and 



202 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

thus meeting the hopes of the nation over which he presides, he will thus 
satisfy the inspirations of his conscience.* 

What a lesson of uprightness and honor is here presented 
before a proud descendant of Charles V. by a humble repub- 
lican of^the Aztec race? This letter was published in the 
various state journals of the governments of South America, 
and became the subject of warm eulogies in their congresses. 

In a proclamation of great courage the President of Mexico 
once more rallied the nation to put forth its best efforts to com- 
plete the work of their deliverance, closing with the words : 

We have generous co-laborers within and without the republic who 
with their pens, their influence, and their money are aiding us, and they 
offer up earnest prayers for the salvation of our country. Redouble, then, 
your efforts. 

Mr. Seward, conscious of the firmer ground occupied by the 
government of the United States, on the 16th of December, 
1865, sent the following to our embassador at Paris : 

It is the president's purpose that France should be respectfully in- 
formed upon two points, namely : 

1st. That the United States earnestly desire to continue and to cultivate 
sincere friendship with France. 

2d. That this policy would be brought into jeopardy unless France 
could deem it consistent with her interest and honor to desist from 
the prosecution of armed intervention in Mexico to overthrow the repub- 
lican government existing there and to establish upon its ruins the foreign 
monarchy which has been attempted in the capital of the country. . . . 
We should think it wrong, as well as unwise, on the part of the United 
States to attempt to subvert by force monarchical governments in Europe, 
for the purpose of replacing them with republican institutions. It seems 
to us equally objectionable that European States should forcibly interfere 
in States situated on this continent to overthrow republican institutions 
and replace them with monarchies or empires. 

Having thus frankly stated our position, I leave the question for the 
consideration of France, sincerely hoping that that great nation may find 
it compatible with its best interests and high honor to withdraw from its 
aggressive attitude in Mexico within some convenient and reasonable 

* Official Journal of 'the Mexican Government, Chihuahua, July 29, 1865. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 203 

time, and thus leave that people of the country to the free enjoyment 
of the system of republican government they have established for them- 
selves, and of their adhesion to which they have given what seems to the 
United States to be decisive and conclusive as well as touching proofs.* 

There was some cunning maneuvering to extract a promise 
from our government that his work in Mexico should be re- 
spected after the withdrawal of his forces (which was not con- 
ceded) before Napoleon fixed the date for the evacuation of 
Mexico by his troops. The deplorable condition of the Mexican 
empire was already revealed by Maximilian himself in the fol- 
lowing confidential letter to a friend : 

Chapultepec, June, 1865. 

It is needful to confess frankly that our military situation is as bad 
as it can be. Guanajuato and Guadalajara are threatened. The city of 
Morelia is surrounded by enemies. Acapulco is lost, and provides, by its 
excellent position, an ever-open road to feed the war and supply the 
enemy with men and arms. There is no news from the North, so that 
the situation is, I suspect, very bad, worse than it was last autumn. 

Precious time lias been lost, the public treasury is ruined, confidence is 
disturbed, and all because they have been made to believe in Paris that 
the war has been gloriously concluded and immense territories, vaster than 
France itself, have been tranquillized. A large number of troops, believ- 
ing these absolutely false rumors, have withdrawn, thinking that by 
so doing they would overcome opposition. An insufficient number of 
soldiers remains. On the other hand, we have been obliged to spend 
enormous sums on the bad auxiliary troops, and so this poor country has 
to pay French troops and hordes of natives troops who only cause disas- 
ter; and in recompense for these huge pecuniary sacrifices we see the 
principal cities of the country, the centers of wealth, threatened by daring 
soldiers who are generally known as and called " thieves,'''' but who mani- 
fest a remarkable military talent and take immediate advantage of the 
many weaknesses of our position. . . . 

Speaking of Morelia reminds me of the promises made to me last year. 
They talked then, as now, about the rainy season, and said every thing 
would be over in the winter. A thousand promises were made to the 
unhappy towns, and though a whole year has gone by we find ourselves 
in just as deplorable a position as then. Maximilian, t 

* Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 1865, p. 451. 
f La Corte de Roma, p. 27. 



204 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

The contrast between the sad revelations of this letter and 
the roseate reports being published by clerical journals and 
such authors as Domenech, Flint, Elton, and others is most 
striking ! The French troops openly boasted that they " were 
trampling the Monroe doctrine of the Washington government 
into the mud of Mexico under their horses' hoofs ! " They did 
not report the increased number of towns where patriotic meet- 
ings were being held, nor that resources of trained men and 
munitions of war were being added to the republican array, nor 
that they themselves were being slowly driven back toward the 
capital. Nor did they report the facts that proved indisputa- 
bly that, apart from the clerical party and compromised traitors, 
monarchy had no following in Mexico, and that its only pros- 
pect for a standing was in foreign soldiers and foreign money. 
Take a simple incident in illustration. Chihuahua, the largest 
city of north-west Mexico, was two or three times captured by 
the French, to prevent Juarez from having his government 
there. When military necessity obliged them to give it up it 
was at once re-occupied by a republican force and the president 
and his cabinet returned. On one occasion during the French 
occupation Senor J. Escobar, who had filled various responsi- 
ble offices and had been secretary of legation at Washington (in 
1861-63), attempted with others to celebrate the 16th of Sep- 
tember in honor of Hidalgo. He was arrested, imprisoned, and 
made to sweep the streets with the common prisoners of the city. 
But the ladies and children turned out en masse and strewed 
flowers along his way as he performed his humiliating task. 

Just at this time there was developed that feature of vacilla- 
tion in Maximilian's character which resulted in acts so relent- 
less and cruel that the world was horrified when the facts came 
out, and which have left his name covered with an infamy 
which will last as long as the French Intervention is remem- 
bered. Whether he made up his mind to pursue this terroriz- 
ing course of his own volition, or whether he was urged to it 
by the advice of other wicked spirits around him (such as Mira- 
mon and Marquez), has not been made clear. But he assumed 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 205 

the terrible responsibility, and so far as the human eye can now 
see the " sin lieth at his door" alone. God and man hold him 
accountable. Finding that he could not overcome the republican 
forces by fair fight, he concluded to deny them every right of war 
or belligerency, and advertised them as brigands to whom no 
mercy should be shown when captured. He was weak enough 
to suppose that decrees to this effect would paralyze their patri- 
otism as they fought for their country's freedom against the rule 
of a foreigner. His first move to accomplish this purpose was 
to deny that they had a flag or a government to follow. There- 
fore, on the 2d of October, 1865, he issued a decree to the nation 
asserting positively that President Juarez had been driven out 
of Mexico and taken shelter in the United States ; that this 
fact left them without a leader and turned them into bandits, 
whose assassination was therefore lawful and imperative in the 
interest of order as well as of the imperial government ! 

This decree was a falsehood. President Juarez never left the 
territory of Mexico for an hour while carrying on his govern- 
ment. He was then at Paso del Norte, and remained there till 
the 17th of the following June, when he and his cabinet re- 
moved to Chihuahua, two hundred and forty miles nearer to the 
capital. 

Next morning (October 3) Maximilian issued another decree, 
known ever since and will be known in the future of Mexican 
history as " the Black Decree." It was drawn with great artful- 
ness, so as to catch not merely the officers and men of the re- 
publican army, but also all who sympathized with them, or who 
afforded them the least help or comfort or information in the 
conflict. We here present, almost in full, the text of this in- 
human decree : 

We, Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, by the advice of our council of 
ministers and of our council of state, do decree as follows: 

Article I. — All persons belonging to armed bands or societies not legally 
authorized, whether of a political nature or not, whatever be the number 
of those forming the band, or its organization, character, or denomination, 
shall be tried by a court-martial, and, if found guilty, if only of the act of 



206 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

belonging to such a band, they shall be condemned to capital punishment, 
which shall be executed within the twenty-four hours next ensuing after 
the declaration of the sentence. 

Article II. — Persons belonging to the hand described in the foregoing 
article, when caught using arms, shall be tried by the commandants of the 
force making the capture, who, within twenty-four hours after such ap- 
prehension', shall cause the offense to be verbally investigated, hearing the 
offender in his own defense. A record of such investigation shall be 
written down, terminating with the sentence, which shall be capital 
punishment should the offender be found guilty, if even solely of the fact 
of belonging to the band. The commanding officer shall cause the sen- 
tence to be executed within twenty-four hours, allowing the culprit to re- 
ceive spiritual consolation, and after execution of the sentence the said 
officer shall forward a record of the proceedings to the minister of war. 

Article XIII. — The sentences of death rendered for the crimes described 
in this decree shall be executed within the periods stated, and no petitions 
for pardon will be received. 

Article XV. — The government reserves the right to declare when the 
provisions of this decree shall cease. 

Given at the palace in Mexico, October 3, 1865. Maximilian. 

To show how this barbarous decree worked we will refer to 
the first case that occurred under it. Only ten days after the 
signing of this decree the fortunes of war in the State of M-icho- 
acan threw into the power of Colonel R. Mendez several hun- 
dred republican troops. Among these were officers of the 
highest rank, such as Generals Arteaga and Salazar, six colonels, 
and a number of subordinate officers. They were surprised and 
taken prisoners in the town of Santa Anna Amatlan. They all 
belonged to the regular army and were gentlemen of education 
and profession, and had fought for the independence of their 
country from the time that the French entered Mexico. Ar- 
teaga, who had been twice Governor of the State of Queretaro, 
had reached the highest rank in the military service and was in 
command of the Army of the Center. He was a patriot without 
blemish, and enjoyed among friends and foes the highest repu- 
tation for honor and humanity. They were informed of the 
decree signed ten days before, and told that within twenty-four 
hours they would be executed ! 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 207 

But even Mendez, one of the most heartless of traitors, as 
his record shows, seems to have shrunk for the moment from 
thus immolating fellow-countrymen like these. He postponed 
the execution and wrote at once to Mexico to inquire from the 
emperor if this was really the purport of the decree, and 
whether he would be justified in sacrificing them according to 
its terms. Appended to this dispatch was a note by the officer 
next in command to Mendez, C. D. Barres, as follows. Speak- 
ing of the surprise in which the party were captured, he says : 

This achievement, one of the most glorious of the campaign, does the 
greatest honor to Colonel Mendez and simplifies the task of pacificating 
Michoacan. Arteaga, without being a skillful general, is an honest and 
sincere man, who has distinguished himself more than once in his career 
by traits of humanity. Justice to the conquered. 

This honorable indorsement appended to the dispatch of 
Mendez went before Maximilian and his military advisers for 
their action. 

During the seven days that elapsed before the reply could 
reach Mendez every effort was made by French, Belgian, and 
Austrian soldiers who had been taken prisoners and humanely 
treated and exchanged by the forces commanded by Arteaga. 
Two hundred and fourteen of them, then within reach, signed 
a protest against the execution, and, another communication by 
them was sent in haste to Maximilian. All in vain. On the 
21st the reply arrived, a mandate from Maximilian through the 
imperial minister of war, that " they were all to he shot, and 
directing Mendez in this and all subsequent occasions to exe- 
cute the provisions of the decree to the very letter ! " There 
exists to-day the most abundant evidence of these atrocities ; 
not merely the official documents of the diplomatic correspond- 
ence, which in themselves are ample, and other volumes writ- 
ten by these authors from personal knowledge, but also a 
special and illustrated record, prepared by leading patriots of 
Mexico. It is full of pathos, written in a calm, judicial spirit, 
which we will now present to our readers. The volume is 



208 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

very large and richly illustrated, and bears the title of El Libro 
Iiojo. Translated it means " The Red Book," but from the 
deeds recorded it might well be entitled " The Book of Blood." 
Its thirty-three sketches include some of the acts of the Inqui- 
sition in Mexico, and with a few exceptions relate the torture 
and imprisonment inflicted on the victims of Spanish and 
Romish cruelty as well as those inflicted by the traitors to their 
country on its faithful patriots. The descriptions are written 
by leading public men of Mexico and are signed by the authors. 
The pictures of the later scenes are portraits of the sufferers, 
and add greatly to the interest of the book, which is very costly 
and now difficult to obtain. It is Mexico's voice in protest 
against the cruelties perpetrated on martyrs of her liberties. 
In compiling the account of the first terrible result of " the 
Black Decree" of October 3, we Lave availed ourselves, in 
addition to what appears in the official correspondence and this 
Libro Rojo, of the information gathered by Colonel Evans, who 
accompanied Mr. Seward through Mexico two years after the 
death of Maximilian and the restoration of the republic. The 
reception of Mr. Seward by the grateful Mexican people, for 
the noble stand he took from the first in their behalf, was of 
the heartiest character. His traveling companion was desirous 
of writing up the actual facts of the death of Generals Arteaga 
and Salazar, and had, at head-quarters, so near the time, the 
fullest opportunity for accomplishing his purpose. 

On the evening of the 21st of October, when the decision 
arrived from the capital, the two generals were notified that 
they were to die the next morning. The information was re- 
ceived with serenity. They occupied themselves with writing 
to their families and arranging their worldly affairs. 

A kind-hearted priest, the curate of the place, by the name 
of Ortiz, who may have sympathized with their cause — as a few 
of his class did — came and spent the last night with them, and 
grateful mention is made of the consolation they derived from 
this good man's exhortations and prayers during its hours. He 
also took charge of the letters written by the prisoners to their 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 209 

mothers, with some little gifts, and had them safely delivered. 
Certainly the world is richer that these two letters were pre- 
served, to be read and admired by those who honor true 
nobility and unflinching courage in the trying hour. How 
tender is the dying remembrance of the brave man for the 
young sister, who seems to have derived her sobriquet of " the 
little Yankee" from the way in which she stood up for the 
United States as her idea of a true republic ! 
The following is General Arteaga's letter : 

Urtjapan, Oct. 20, 1865. 

My Adored Mother: I was taken prisoner on the 13th instant by the 
imperial troops, and to-morrow I am to be shot. I pray you, mamma, to 
pardon me for all the suffering I have caused you during the time I have 
followed the profession of arms, against your will. Mamma, in spite of 
all my efforts to aid you, the only means I had I sent you in April last; 
but God is with you, and he will not suffer you to perish, nor my sister 
Trinidad, the little Yankee. 

Mamma, I leave nothing but a spotless name, for I have never taken 
any thing that did not belong to me, and I trust God will pardon all my 
sins and take me into his glory. 

I die a Christian, and bid you all adieu — you, Dolores, and all the 
family, as your very obedient son, Jose M. Arteaga. 

The letter of his fellow-sufferer was equally worthy : 

Uruafan, Oct. 20, 1865. 

Adored Mother : It is seven o'clock at night, and General Arteaga, 
Colonel Villa Gomez, with three other chiefs and myself have just been 
condemned. My conscience is quiet. I go down to the tomb at thirty- 
three years of age, without a stain on my military career or a blot on my 
name. Weep not, but be comforted, for the only crime your son has 
committed is the defense of a holy cause — the independence of his coun- 
try. For this I am to be shot. I have no money, for I have saved noth- 
ing. I leave you without a fortune, but God will aid you and my chil- 
dren, who are proud to bear my name. 

Direct my children and my brothers to the path of honor, for the 
scaffold cannot stain loyal names. Adieu, my dear mother. . . . My 
blessings for all my friends, and receive the last farewell of your obedient 
and faithful son, who loves you much. Carlos Salazar. 

Postscript. — If affairs should change hereafter — and it is possible they 
may — 1 wish my ashes to repose by the side of my children, in your town. 



210 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Things did change in truth. When the cause for which they 
died triumphed the remains of these martyrs were brought to 
the capital and interred near President Juarez, within the 
sacred precincts where Mexico honors her illustrious dead. 

No relaxation of this awful decree was allowed. The assas- 
sinations went on to the very last. A well-authenticated case, 
within three days of Maximilian's capture at Queretaro, is given. 
A young gentleman of the name of Mercado, son of one of the 
leading families of Queretaro, was taken by the imperialist force 
and was executed within the twenty-four hours, as prescribed 
by the decree. No chance for mercy, nor for the rectification 
of mistakes, where only a verbal examination was allowed, and 
where the officer in charge was forbidden to forward any peti- 
tion for pardon ! What fastens the responsibility for these 
assassinations upon Maximilian still more definitely was his 
act when, seven weeks after the deaths of Arteaga and Salazar, 
he rewarded Mendez in the following order, which appears in 
the Official Journal of December 9, 1865 : " Colonel Mendez, 
the captor of Arteaga, etc., has been promoted to the rank of 
general on account of his recent services in Michoacan." * 

At this very time — November, 1865— Marshal Bazaine was 
humanely exchanging prisoners at Mexico city -with General 
Eiva Palacios. No wonder that he and Maximilian quarreled, 
and that he hated Marquez and the church party. As com- 
mander-in-chief Bazaine concedes the rights of belligerents to 
the forces of the republican army, and calls their leader " gen- 
eral," and even compliments their humanity to the French pris- 
oners in their power. His language to the republican general 
is a sufficient reply to Maximilian's cruel decree. He wrote : 

I am pleased at the sentiments of humanity that have animated you in 
this affair. ... I will not close this letter without thanking you for your 
kindness and attentions toward the prisoners. 

* El Libro Rojo. Y. Riva Palacios y Manuel Payno. Mexico, 1870. Diplomatic 
Correspondence 'of the United States, 1866, p. 460, etc. Our Sister Republic, by 
Colonel Evans, p. 324. Hartford, Conn., 1870. 




MONOGRAM OF MAXIMILIAN, 

With Medallions of his favorite Generals. 



MEXICO IX TRAXSITIOX. 211 

Here we present a monogram which appeared at this time as 
an attempt to popularize the empire. How far Maximilian 
was responsible for its publication does not appear. But the 
bad taste expressed in it is unaccountable. The emperor and 
empress are seen in the central medallion, their armorial bearings 
are above them, and on either side are their favorite generals, 
Miramon, Mejia, and Marquez — men infamous for their cruel- 
ties, and who were held in abhorrence, with good reason, in tens 
of thousands of homes in Mexico. Two of these men shared 
the fate of the emperor, and the other fled his country, too 
guilty to be forgiven. The lower portrait is Marquez, the 
one on the left Miramon, and on the right Mejia. These are 
the generals who attempted to build up the empire by the cru- 
elties of "the Black Decree." The last place where we should 
look for such faces in conjunction with Maximilian and fair 
Carlota would be under the motto of the empire, " Equity 
and Justice " — a motto which they so utterly failed to evidence 
in this period of their unworthy career. 

The year 1866 opened in gloom for the French Intervention. 
Napoleon's course in regard to discontinuing the monthly grant 
for the support of the troops, his dissatisfaction with the prog- 
ress made, joined to solicitude as to the intentions of the United 
States government, with their war closing, and the immense 
resources now free under their command, were sad facts for 
the young couple that occupied the imperial throne. Then, in 
addition, Santa Anna was prowling round, like a beast of prey, 
anxious to enter Mexico and start an interest of his own. For 
this purpose he issued a proclamation to the nation, dated 
" Elizabethport, N. J., June 5." He had the hypocrisy to 
offer his services on the 21st of May to the republican 
government, which were promptly declined, because, as the 
reply runs : 

As an officer he has been disloyal to all the governments that have em- 
ployed him ; that as the head of the government he has been disloyal to 
all the parties who have aided him to power, and that as a Mexican he 
has been lately disloyal to the cause of his country. 



212 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

He then had the audacity to address our own government on 
the 10th of August, asking " support " in his enterprise and 
promising " gratitude to our government with a liberal hand " 
if thus assisted ! He was promptly repelled by a note from 
Mr. Seward. His countrymen in New York, learning of his 
attempts-, in their organization, " The Mexican Club," at once 
drew up a public protest against him and his plans as " the 
man who was always the foe of freedom, and who, abusing all 
honor, begged for Mexico the shameful foreign yoke she now 
wears." To commemorate this man's rejection Maximilian (to 
whom two years before he had actually offered his services) on 
the 12th of July issued a decree ordering the confiscation of all 
Santa Anna's property in Mexico. Ordinary mortals would 
have been extinguished after such a tornado of repulses. But 
Santa Anna was not an ordinary mortal, and he was yet to 
make one more dash for the destruction of his country's free- 
dom before abandoning public life forever. 

How desperate the state of the empire must have become by 
the 1st of July may be imagined by the sudden departure of 
the empress for Europe in the ordinary mail steamer of that 
month. Her presence was very essential to her husband. In- 
deed, she was regarded as the prop of the whole enterprise, 
from her superior mental ability, for Maximilian was con- 
fessedly weak and unreliable ; yet this gifted woman resolved 
to face alone the risks of such a journey, including the danger 
to her life from the yellow fever at Yera Cruz (which rages 
worst in July), and to leave her husband alone and exposed 
in her desperate effort to save their empire. What she could 
hope to accomplish, which could not be done by correspond- 
ence, by her personal presence in Paris and Rome, may be 
inferred by glancing at the leading items of the situation. 
Foremost of all was the expressed intention of Napoleon to 
withdraw his troops, in view of the pressure from the United 
States. Of the small force that would remain to Maximilian, 
the republican troops, she feared, and rightly, would soon give 
a good account. Worse, if possible, than the loss of the French 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 213 

force was the warning from Napoleon that the monthly re- 
mittance for expenses must soon cease, in view of his own 
increasing military wants and the clamor of the French parlia- 
ment and press against further outlay in a hungry enterprise 
which swallowed up such enormous sums, and yet yielded no 
return in either gain or glory. The course of Bazaine, also, in 
refusing to recognize Maximilian as his master in his military 
measures — for the marshal had a contempt for the Mexican 
emperor's judgment, and was wont to ignore him and decide 
what was to be done in view of his instructions from Napo- 
leon — was keenly felt by Maximilian, as commander-in-chief 
of his empire, all the more as the French were losing ground 
and many of the important cities had been recaptured by the 
republican forces. Add to this the unrelenting pressure of the 
church party to force Maximilian to act in the line of the 
papal allocution, even to the point of reimbursing the Church 
for her losses by republican confiscation — and this, too, at a time 
when he was uncertain from whence the support of his own 
household was to come — and we have more than enough to ac- 
count for the desperation that led Carlota to cross the sea to 
endeavor to relieve their distressing situation. She was deter- 
mined to find out if her husband was really emperor, or merely 
a French agent, and she flattered herself that she could sway 
Na23oleon to her views of the case. Alas ! that " imperturbable 
reserve " and " ambiguity " for which the " sphinx of the 
Tuileries " was already known proved too much even for the 
accomplished daughter of that Nestor of kings, Leopold. The 
case was even worse for her than when she left Mexico, for on 
her way across the ocean she may have imagined that Austria 
had chastised Prussian insolence and would be therefore tri- 
umphant ! What a terrible revelation must the fact of the 
case have been when she landed and Sadowtfs result was told 
to her astonished ears ! Austria's power dashed to pieces, 
Napoleon so involved that he was preoccupied with affairs with 
which, in their gravity to himself, the Mexican enterprise was 

:a mere militarv excursion ! The attention of French statesmen 
17 



214 MEXICO IX TRAXSITIOX. 

could not be attracted to the Mexican empire save to wish 
that their emperor had never originated it. The conviction 
was now forced upon her that help from France was out of the 
question, and that if their empire could not stand when the 
French troops were recalled and French money ceased to flow 
to it, then it would be hardly worth while for her to make 
another journey across the Atlantic! The short answers re- 
ceived from Napoleon could not have been a total surprise to 
her, nor his evident desire that she should leave Paris, while 
he addressed himself to the question of withdrawing from 
Mexican affairs with as little loss to his prestige as possible. 

There was only one thing for the distressed empress to do, 
and that was to place herself and their cause in the hands of the 
pope, from whom she fully expected sympathy and such help 
as he could give. But here begins the dark cloud which so soon 
enveloped her mental powers. Maximilian's failure to carry 
out the stern policy of the pontiff in regard to reversing the ac- 
tion of the Republicans, and, worse still, in having himself, under 
the pressure of the nation's necessities, ordered the renewal of 
the sale of the church property, had enraged the curia, so that 
the pope at first could hardly be civil to the empress, and it is 
said that he condemned her husband's conduct in very strong 
language. The deed for which he had excommunicated Victor 
Emmanuel could not be overlooked in Maximilian. 

Of the sad events of the days since Carlota's arrival in Eu- 
rope the following letter was a melancholy report for Maximil- 
ian. It was written by his embassador at Rome on the 18th of 
October, 1866 : 

Sire: I proceed to inform your majesty of the particulars of the un- 
fortunate and unexpected events of the last few days. 

We could imagine many calamities to Mexico, but it certainly never 
entered our minds, when we were admiring the courage and heroic valor 
of her majesty the empress at leaving your majesty, enduring the dangers 
and fatigues of the bad roads to Vera Cruz, in the rainy season, in the 
midst of yellow fever, crossing the ocean and coming as a great negotia- 
trix to demand rights for Mexico and the execution of treaties, that she 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 215 

would be so ungraciously received in Paris as to affect her majesty's mind 
so seriously. 

The effects of her reception in Paris were so strong that she had to stop 
in Botzen, on the way to Rome, where she imagined herself surrounded by 
Napoleon's spies and traitors, who had poisoned her. On the 26th her 
majesty rested in Rome, and the next day we called to see his holiness. 
This interview was solitary, as your majesty knows is the custom with 
sovereigns, and lasted one hour and eighteen minutes. 

At eight o'clock in the morning, on the 1st inst., her majesty the em- 
press went out, and I waited for her till three. At five and a quarter I 
got a note from Cardinal Antonelli, telling me to come to the Vatican 
immediately. 

I met Cardinal Antonelli much afflicted because her majesty the em- 
press said she would not return to the hotel until Count del Valle, her 
lady of the wardrobe, and Dr. Benslaveck, who, she said, had poisoned 
her, had left the house. She wanted to stay in the Vatican all night, for 
fear of the persons mentioned, but I persuaded her to return to the hotel 
by 7 P. M. On entering her room she perceived the keys were not 
in the door. In fact, the doctor had taken them away secretly, as he aft- 
erward acknowledged, to lock her majesty in her chamber, in case of a 
violent attack. Missing the keys, she went straight back to the Vatican, 
and locked herself and Madame del Barrio in the room under the pope's, 
where she passed the night. . . . 

I have lately heard that the idea of poison originated in Paris. While 
visiting the Tuileries lemonade was given to her majesty, and when she 
got back to the Grand Hotel she said that they had poisoned her. 

I am sorry to learn at this moment that her majesty the empress even 
suspects the Count of Flanders, and will not see him. I regret to send 
you such sorrowful news, but it is my determination to let your majesty 
know every thing, as that is true frankness and loyalty and the true way 
to serve you.* 

It may be that the embassador makes more of the facts against 
Napoleon than is fair, and less against Rome. We have a letter 
that throws great blame on the pontiff, but it is so bitter against 
him that we withhold it. Two facts, however, remain for con- 
sideration. In the first place, Carlota's chief hope was with 
the pope. She hoped he would relax the demands made on 
the Emperor Maximilian, which we know he did not do, and, 
secondly, that after her interview with the pope her malady 

* Diplomatic Correspondence, 1867, part iii, p. 385. 



216 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

assumed a greater intensity. The poor mind completely lost its 
balance. Long after her husband was dead she insisted that 
he lived, was triumphant in Mexico, and would soon come for 
her. She was taken to her home at Miramar, where she has 
since lived in solitude and desolation. 

The pending departure of the French troops would leave only 
the " Foreign Legion," composed of Belgic and Austrian vol- 
unteers, with such levies as the church party might raise, and 
these were utterly inadequate to meet the republican troops. 
Maximilian proceeded to invite foreign volunteers, under large 
bounty and extra pay, from Cuba, Austria, and Egypt. Napoleon 
had initiated the effort of this latter class; a battalion of them, 
four hundred and forty-seven strong, was already in Mexico. 
Maximilian desired a large increase of this Egyptian force, as 
they were bold and ferocious fighters. Juarez appealed to 
our government to put a stop to such an outrage, and Mr. 
Seward ordered onr representative in Egypt " to protest against 
any more Nubian Negroes being supplied for Mexico, to sub- 
vert established political institutions or disturb society on the 
American continent." It was bad enough to invite Austrians 
and Cuban negroes, but to have Nubians, and probably savages 
from the Soudan, to murder American republicans was worthy 
of the traitor to freedom who originated it and wished to carry 
it on when his own soldiers were recalled. The protest of our 
government terminated the effort for volunteers from any quar- 
ter, and left Maximilian to be sustained by the foreign legion 
and such adherents of the clerical party as would fight for him. 

On the surrender of Lee, Maximilian attempted to strengthen 
his position by offering great inducements to the leaders of the 
South to colonize in Mexico. Colonel M. F. Maury (formerly 
of the United States navy) was appointed " Imperial Commis- 
sioner of Colonization." The idea took amazingly with some 
of the Confederates. It is amusing to read now the names of 
those who shook off the dust of their feet against the United 
States — men like Generals Sterling Price, John O. Shelby, 
and Governor Isham G. Harris, of Tennessee, Judge Perkins, 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 21 T 

Generals Hardman and Terry, of Texas, and many others. It 
is entertaining to see by tlieir letters, published in the Diplo- 
matic Correspondence, what facile converts to monarchy they 
made, and how they laud " his majesty the emperor," a " much- 
admired and praised monarch," and all that sort of thing ! This 
is mingled with denunciations of the United States, and even 
contrasts drawn in favor of the order prevailing in the land 
where their " new and delightful homes " were situated ! About 
two hundred such men availed themselves of the magnificent 
offers of land in some of the choicest spots of Mexico, and 
might have prospered, but their rough treatment of the Indian 
laborers soon produced a revolt which ended in the overthrow 
of this scheme and the return of nearly all to the once despised 
territory of the United States.* By October, 1866, Maximilian 
became apprehensive of coming disaster. His solitary condi- 
tion, combined with the failure of French aid, led him suddenly 
to resolve to leave the country before the French could inter- 
fere. Some of his effects were sent down to Orizava, and, prob- 
ably under color of having a change of climate for a while, he 
soon followed. From Orizava he opened communications with 
the commander of the Austrian war-ship Dandolo at Vera 
Cruz, informing him that he would leave Orizava at half past 
twelve on the night of October 31, and warning him to have 
his frigate ready by five o'clock the following afternoon, at 
which time he would arrive and embark at once. As soon as 
day dawned the captain went to the house of the French com 
mander, Peyrau, and in confidence communicated the message 
he had received. The Frenchman was amazed, and, suspecting 
something wrong, immediately telegraphed the news up coun- 
try to Marshal Bazaine, who was equally surprised. Bazaine at 
once telegraphed his orders to Orizava and Vera Cruz that the 
emperor and his luggage were to be detained, and also informed 
Maximilian that he had discovered what he was attempting, 
but that unless he abdicated in due form he would not let him 
embark. Indeed, Napoleon, despairing of success under the cir- 

* Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 186G-67, p. 202. 



218 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

cumstances, had already sent General Castlenau to advise Maxi- 
milian to abdicate, which he declined to do. 

For some time past the French had had their suspicions that 
Maximilian was intending to deceive them, and Bazaine had 
been instructed how to act in such a case. They would not 
hinder him from leaving if he chose to do so, but it must be on 
the condition of abdication. The position taken was, " Maxi- 
milian abdicating, French engagements are at an end ; but 
Maximilian going off without abdicating and renouncing the 
throne, and declaring, as they say was his intention, all ' his 
griefs against the French,' which then rested in a very bad 
position, immense ridicule would have fallen on them from 
which abdication would save them." * Into what a ridiculous 
situation would Maximilian's quiet escape have turned the en- 
tire situation had the French and the church party waked up 
next morning and been informed that their " emperor " had 
fled and was then a couple of hundred miles off upon the broad 
Atlantic ! The meeting between Maximilian and Bazaine was 
a stormy affair and ended in open rupture. The clericals, 
alarmed by the prospect of the complete failure of their plans, 
now came forward with offers of money and men if the em- 
peror would only renew the struggle. To his council, who had 
been hastily summoned to Orizava, Maximilian propounded the 
question whether it would not be advisable for him to abdicate f 
This raised intense excitement among the adherents of the em- 
pire. What occurred at the council, in view of the terrible re- 
sults, shall be stated by one who stood on the side of Maximilian 
and the Intervention, and who had no partiality for the republi- 
can cause. This was Captain Elton, of the French army. The 
reader will not fail to note what he says of the character of the 
two clerical generals, now advanced to power, and the irre- 
sponsibility with which they were clothed. He says : 

The council, influenced by their own dangerous position, and backed 
up by the church party, who were beginning to see that unless they could 

* Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 1866, p. 392. Historia de la 
Intervencion, por. E. Lefevre, vol. ii, p. 349. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 219 

succeed in propping up the tottering foundations of the empire their 
rights, property, and privileges must inevitably go by the board, opened 
their eyes at last to the absolute necessity of immediate action. They 
found themselves on the point of falling from the frying-pan into the fire 
— from the hands of an emperor inclined to conciliate them, and who only 
desired to establish some sort of order and morality among their ranks, 
into the power of the Liberals, who decidedly would make the very fact of 
their having invited Maximilian into the country an excuse for ill treat- 
ment and the legal plunder of what property still remained to them. 
Foreseeing all this, they made the first overtures of conciliation and offers 
of substantial aid to the imperial government, the bishops, as a commence- 
ment and guarantee of their good faith, giving thirty millions of piasters 
toward the establishment of the army. They declared it necessary for the 
preservation of order that the present government should be sustained, 
offering to Maximilian the services of Miramon and Marquez, the two 
champions of the church party, who, good soldiers and brave men, 
though not overscrupulous as to the means they employed, undertook to 
raise troops and lead them against the enemy, provided they were given full 
powers and not rendered accountable to any authority for illegal acts. 
Finally Maximilian agreed to a compromise, and matters stood thus : 
The services of Marquez and Miramon were accepted, full power being 
delivered to them to raise troops by whatever means they chose to adopt; 
every assistance in the way of supplies of arms and money was to be fur- 
nished them from all available resources, and authority was given them 
to raise forced loans whenever and wherever they pleased, in order to de- 
fray the expenses of their armies. On their side Marquez and Miramon 
engaged to march at once with all the men they could collect, and in con- 
junction with Mejia endeavor to strike an effective blow and recapture 
the towns and territory lost to the empire by the French evacuation. 

It was thus by a curious combination of circumstances that the emperor 
again found himself trusting for support to this still powerful clerical 
party. From this moment the aspect of matters underwent a violent 
change, for suddenly his army sprang into new life, money was plentiful, 
and the two most able generals in Mexico declared for his side.* 

The report of this fearful and irresponsible power thus con- 
ceded to these two generals to stamp out the republicanism of 
Mexico, together with their well-known character as compro- 
mised traitors, and the power of the Black Decree of October 3, 

* With the French in Mexico, by J. F. Elton, pp. 177-181. London, Chapman & 
Hall, 1867. 



220 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

to be wielded in full at their will, soon spread over Mexico 
and carried anxiety and distress in all directions. It revived, 
too, the recollection of the horror caused by the assassination of 
Generals Arteaga and Salazar and their associates, and of many 
others since. But the combination did not work just as the 
church party and their agents expected. On the contrary, a 
fearful revulsion set in, and men grew desperate in their resolve 
to overthrow these murderous agents of Maximilian and save 
their country. The homes filled with mourning under that 
black flag that floated so freely now were not commending the 
imperial cause to the men and women of Mexico. 

General Grant had a broad view of the events transpiring in 
Mexico, and a few lines written by him will show his opinion 
of the crime perpetrated by Louis Napoleon against Mexico 
and the United States. He writes : 

The governing people of Mexico (the Imperialists) continued to the 
close of the war to throw obstacles in our way. After the surrender of 
Lee, therefore, entertaining the opinion here expressed, I sent Sheridan 
with a corps to the Rio Grande, to have him where he might aid Juarez, 
. . . much to the consternation of the (French) troops in the quarter of 
Mexico bordering upon that stream. This soon led to the request from 
France that we should withdraw our troops and to negotiations for the 
withdrawal of theirs. Finally Bazaine was withdrawn from Mexico by 
order of the French government. From that day the empire began to totter. 
Mexico was then able to maintain her independence without aid from us. 
... To erect a monarchy upon the ruins of the Mexican republic was 
the scheme of one man, an imitator without genius or merit. He had 
succeeded in stealing the government of his country, and made a change in 
its form against the wishes and instinct of his people. He tried to play 
the part of the first Napoleon without the ability to sustain that role. He 
sought by new conquests to add to his empire and his glory ; but the 
signal failure of his scheme of conquest was the precursor of his own over- 
throw. . . . The beginning of his downfall was when he landed troops 
on this continent. Failing here, the prestige of his name — all the pres- 
tige he ever had — was gone. He must achieve a success or fall. He tried 
to strike down his neighbor, Prussia, and fell. The third Napoleon could 
have no claims to having done a good or a just act.* 

* Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, vol. ii, p. 545. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 221 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Collapse of the empire — Siege of Queretaro — Efforts to escape — Capture of Maxi- 
milian — Court-martial — Charges — Defense — Sentence — Appeals for pardon — 
"Why declined — Princess Salm-Salm — Plan of escape — Falsehood and bribery 
— Interview with Juarez — The execution — Unjust charges against Colonel 
Lopez — " Selling Maximilian for $30,000 " — Escobedo's letter — Taking of 
Mexico city— Aferciful treatment of prisoners — Santa Anna's last game — 
Disposal of the body of the archduke — Admission of Maximilian's lawyers. 

Mr. Seward's firm stand compelled Napoleon to name the 
date for the evacuation of Mexico as the 11th of March, 1867. 
His subsequent effort to defer this until November was met 
with a firm refusal. In a brief dispatch Napoleon's embas- 
sador was informed that our government would expect a satis- 
factory answer, pending which a •• military force of observa- 
tion " would " await the president's directions." This was per- 
fectly understood at Paris. The whereabouts of Sheridan were 
known to Napoleon. Therefore the French army withdrew at 
the appointed time, the republican forces following closely and 
occupying the cities which they had held for the empire. 

Some of our people, who were not acquainted with the cru- 
elties now daily perpetrated in Mexico by these wretches, were 
inclined to regard Mr. Seward's present pungent messages as 
rather risky and dictatorial. But our government was fully in- 
formed by Senor Romero, and was aware that the protection 
of the French should be withdrawn in order, among other rea- 
sons, that these frightful assassinations might end. Even at the 
risk of war, the United States must at this point help Mexico. 
By the 1st of May only a single line remained in the power of 
the empire, the other parts of the country being occupied by the 
republican forces. The city of Mexico and Queretaro, with the 
towns between, were still held by the Imperialists, but the in- 
tervening towns were soon taken by the advancing Liberal army. 



222 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

The capital was defended by the traitor Marquez, while Maxi- 
milian, with his foreign legion, occupied Queretaro. The last 
outside conflict was near Zacatecas, where Miramon was de- 
feated by General Escobedo. Miramon returned and joined 
Maximilian at Queretaro. General Escobedo laid siege to that 
city with an army of about twenty-five thousand men, while 
General Porfirio Diaz surrounded the capital with a sufficient 
force. Escape from either city was practically impossible, and 
famine soon began its horrors in each place. 

Amid the difficulties existing in the way of obtaining reliable 
information at this most important point it seems very fortu- 
nate that, in entering upon the final scenes of the Intervention, 
we are not left to rely upon fragmentary or unreliable state- 
ments, but that full evidence in regard to the capture, trial, 
and execution of Maximilian became available to us. There lie 
before us as we write a dozen volumes on the subject, six of 
which were written in the interests of Maximilian and the In- 
tervention by competent authors who were with him and who 
did their best for their subject. These authors are : Dr. Basch, 
the emperor's physician ; Alberto Hans, one of his prominent 
officers ; Count de Keratry, his friend ; the Princess Salm-Salm, 
wife of a member of his staff, who was devotedly attached to 
the interests of the empire, and the two lawyers who defended 
him at his trial, M. Riva Palacios and M. de la Torre. On the 
other side we have the republican cause defended in the volumes 
of E. Lefevre, H. Frias y Soto, the report of the attorney-gen- 
eral and the secretary of the court-martial, by Lorenzo Elizaga, 
and Rafael M. de la Torre, in the Lib?'o Rojo. Two of these 
are chiefly occupied in traversing the statements of the de- 
fenders of the empire and pointing out their inaccuracies. Ad- 
ditional facts have been gleaned from the works of Schroeder 
and Colonel Evans, from the Diplomatic Correspondence, and 
from the newspaper La Sombra de Arteaga, of Queretaro, 
which published a full account of the trial as it progressed. 

We condense the information regarding the eventful night 
of the 14th of May. Maximilian had become convinced that 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 223 

further resistance was hopeless. A report received that day 
from his generals, Miramon, Mejia, and Castillo, on the situa- 
tion had greatly excited him and led him to doubt the fidelity 
of these officers, and to fear that they were disposed to save 
themselves by abandoning him in the emergency if an oppor- 
tunity occurred. He concluded he would do well to save him- 
self, leaving them to their fate. To this end he selected Colonel 
Miguel Lopez, once a republican officer, but who had during 
the empire been in his service in command of the regiment of 
the empress, and had served him faithfully. Maximilian took 
him into his confidence, directing him secretly to open commu- 
nications with General Escobedo, the commander-in-chief of the 
republican army. This Lopez did, from La Cruz, the part of 
the works which he defended, and was admitted to the head- 
quarters of the republican army during that night. He de- 
livered his message, which was that Maximilian, despairing of 
the situation, was ready to surrender at once if his own life was 
guaranteed and Escobedo would grant him leave to pass out, 
escorted by fifty horsemen only, to make his way to the coast, 
and so leave Mexico, offering the most solemn assurances never 
to return. General Escobedo could not accede to such a propo- 
sition. Maximilian must surrender unconditionally, leaving 
the government to judge of his case. His willingness to avoid 
further bloodshed was, however, appreciated by General Esco- 
bedo, who, having learned from the admissions of Colonel Lopez 
the desperate condition of the besieged, took measures at once 
for a final assault upon the city in order to force surrender. 

Lopez returned to Maximilian with the news of General 
Escobedo's firm refusal, which greatly depressed the emperor. 
That he could have entertained the hope of such a concession, 
under such circumstances, is another evidence of his weakness 
of mind. But he had judgment to realize, after reflection, that 
he had seriously compromised his dignity and his honor by a 
proposition which contemplated the forsaking of those who had 
followed his fortunes and risked their lives in his service. It 
was, however, kindred in character to his attempt in the pre- 



224 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

vkms year to escape by the Dandolo from- Vera Cruz, and to 
leave the French to face the results of his desertion of their 
cause. 

The next morning before daylight the final assault was made, 
one column entering without resistance at the post held by 
Lopez, who assured his command that further resistance was 
useless, and they therefore quietly surrendered. In the confu- 
sion Maximilian mounted a horse and tried to escape, but was 
surrounded and captured at the Cerro de las Campanas. Gen- 
eral Corona soon came up and guarded Maximilian until the 
arrival of General Escobedo.* One account states that Maxi- 
milian drew his sword with formality and said, " I am Maxi- 
milian, Emperor of Mexico, and I surrender to you," offering 
the sword. On which Escobedo replied, "No, Maximilian, you 
are not Emperor of Mexico, and never were, nor could you be 
against the will of its people." He intimated to his chief of 
staff to receive the proffered sword, to be sent to President 
Juarez, and directed that Maximilian should be taken to suit- 
able quarters and carefully guarded. The archduke (we shall 
henceforth call him) was apprehensive that he would be in- 
sulted, and even appealed to General E:cobedo that he "should 
be treated with the consideration due to a prisoner of war;" 
to which Escobedo replied, " That you may trust to me." 
Later in the day Maximilian asked for a private conversation 
with General Escobedo, and renewed the request which Colonel 
Lopez had already negotiated in vain. The short reply, " I am 
not permitted to concede what you request," ended the matter. 

A telegram was at once sent to President Juarez, informing 
him of the capture of the city and that the archduke, Miramon, 
Mejia, witli fifteen other generals and over eight thousand men, 
were made prisoners. Head-quarters were soon crowded by 
those who had been cruelly bereaved and injured by the Im- 
perialists, who demanded the fullest penalty upon them for the 
crimes they had committed. General Escobedo asked for in- 

- * Official Documents from the Private Archives of Maximilian, by E. Lefevre, 
vol. -ii, p. 390. Brussels and London, 1869. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 225 

structions from the supreme government. The president had 
come from Chihuahua to San Luis Potosi, which was within 
a comparatively short distance from Queretaro and connected 
by telegraph. He directed that a court-martial should try the 
three chief offenders, that every thing should be done legally, 
and that full publicity should be allowed. A competent lawyer 
of Queretero, Senor J. M. Vasquez, was retained on behalf of 
Maximilian, and on the expression of his desire for additional 
counsel he was allowed to name three of the leading lawyers 
of the capital, Senores E. M. Ortega, M. Riva Palacios, and 
P. M. de la Torre, who were at once sent for, and in company 
with the Prussian embassador, Baron Magnus, and other gen- 
tlemen were permitted to pass out of the besieged capital by 
General Diaz, and forwarded under a safe conduct to Queretaro. 
Maximilian was well and ably served, and at the close expressed 
his gratitude for their efforts to each of those lawyers. Seven 
officers constituted the court-martial, the president being Colonel 
Platon Sanchez, witli Colonel M. Aspiroz as attorney-general. 

After consultation, having approved the line of defense, the 
lawyers agreed that two should remain to conduct the case, and 
the other two should go to San Luis Potosi, to be near the gov- 
ernment to use all the means available there in the interest of 
the archduke. Maximilian claimed that the court-martial was 
incompetent to try him, and that another month of time was 
necessary for a fall defense. He declined to appear in court, 
and was not compelled to do so. His generals, Miramon and 
Mejia, were there, but his seat between them remained vacant. 
Morning and evening his lawyers reported proceedings and re- 
ceived instructions. He addressed a long and rather rambling 
statement to the commanding general, in which he argued his 
views for a change of tribunal, the withdrawal of the present 
charges, and the formulation of others to be held before a 
" tribunal of the federation," and made use of the case of Jeffer- 
son Davis to indicate the course which should be pursued toward 
himself, though he was unable to find facts to institute a paral- 
lel between them. It was replied that Davis did not cross the 



226 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

ocean as a foreigner at the head of a large army to overthrow 
the government of a country and establish a monarchy on its 
ruins, and this without a declaration of war, and then, when 
fair fighting could not accomplish his purpose, raise the black 
flag, and, by the authority of a mere decree, send those who 
fell into the hands of his agents to death within twenty-four 
hours, without tribunal or appeal for mercy, and not even allow 
their names to be reported till after their execution had taken 
place ! The parallel could not apply. 

It seems that he supposed himself to be in better case than 
that of Jefferson Davis, as the following curious extract may 
show that he claims exemption from punishment on the ground 
" that the death penalty can be imposed upon the traitor to the 
country in foreign war, but it is clear that Maximilian, not be- 
ing a native of Mexico, but of Austria, the charge of traitor to 
the country cannot be made against him ; therefore he is in the 
case, not as an exception, but of the general rule." He con- 
cludes his rambling statement in this curious style : 

Having time for no more, I conclude by requesting, first, that you declare 
yourselves incompetent, and, second, that you command all proceedings 
being instigated against me in accordance with the law of January 25, 1862, 
to be withdrawn ; third, that the ordinary council of war created by that 
law be not appointed nor installed, as I do not recognize but do deny its 
competence, declining now its jurisdiction under any form ; fourth, and 
last, that reports be made to the proper persons for ultimate effect ; and, 
finally, I will say that, in accordance with the frankness of my character, I 
should not conceal from you that a copy of this letter is in the possession 
of the consul of Hamburg to be transmitted, when possible, to the diplo- 
matic corps of my court. (Signed) Maximilian.* 

The archduke misunderstood his surroundings. He expected 
rough treatment, which did not come. On the contrary, he was 
treated courteously and reasonably provided for as to all per- 
sonal comforts. Sufficient time was allowed for preparation 
before the trial began ; all legal forms were duly observed as 

* Memorandum sobre el proceso Del Arquiduque Fernando Maximiliano de Austria, 
by M. R. Palacios and R. M. de la Torre, part ii, p. 3. Mexico, 1867. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 227 

the procedure developed in his case ; he was free from all 
annoyance, and was fairly and even deferentially treated. So 
that, with his views, he was liable to imagine that his personal 
safety was not much compromised. In fact, Maximilian had a 
contempt for what Mr. Lincoln called " the common people," 
and was disposed to believe occasionally that this " democracy " 
would not dare to lay its hand upon his life. Somewhat harsher 
treatment, it might be, than Jeff Davis received might be dealt 
in his case. He might be expelled from Mexico, but no worse 
was at first feared by him. His " rank " and royal blood would 
surely protect him. This fond notion clung to him to within 
forty-eight hours of his death, as we shall see, and then only 
the earnest assurances of the two generals who were to die with 
him could convince him that his life was in danger ! 

These are the chief counts of indictment on which he was 
tried : 

1. The first charge against Maximilian consists in having 
lent himself to serve as an instrument to the intervention of 
the French in the political affairs of Mexico. 

2. The title of emperor with which he came to support the 
aims of the French Intervention. The illegality of this title 
makes him a usurper of the rights of a sovereign people. 

4. That of having disposed, with the violence of armed force, 
of the interests, rights, and life of the Mexicans. 

5. The kind of war which he made upon the republic, to- 
gether with the French ; the responsibilities which he con- 
tracted on account of the excesses committed by the French 
army in the name of the emperor. 

6. In having himself made war with foreigners, subjects of 
powers who were not in war with the republic. 

8. The publishing of a decree on October 2, 1865, in which 
he falsely asserted that the republican government had aban- 
doned the national territory, from which falsehood he deduced 
that the republican forces had no known flag, that they were 
bands of robbers, and should be treated in accord with the de- 
cree he issued on October 3. 



228 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

9. In having continued the war after the French army had 
withdrawn from Mexico ; with the aggravating circumstances 
of having surrounded himself with men who had made them- 
selves famous for their crimes in the civil war of Mexico, and 
of having continued to employ means of violence, death, and 
destruction until he fell, surrendered at discretion in this 
town.* 

The claim for a change of tribunal was not allowed. The 
procedure was being impartially applied to the two generals 
indicted with him, and could not be altered in favor of him 
who was the chief of the rebellion against the constitutional 
government of the country. The trial lasted two whole days. 
All that his able lawyers could do, under the circumstances, for 
his defense was done, but in vain. They could not lift the 
weight of guilt against the nation which pressed upon him. 
They tried mercifully to insinuate that " the Black Decree " of 
the 3d of October was intended merely to be used in terrorem, 
to frighten men into submission to the empire, but not to be 
made effective or to last too long. When the evidence of this 
was demanded it could not be furnished. The very contrary 
was proved by evidence found in the prince's archives, giving 
the names of leading Mexicans who had perished under his 
decree, even up to recent dates, as in the case of young Mer- 
cado. The decree was never suspended and never disavowed. 
The families of these victims were demanding stern justice on 
the man whose warrant sent them to swift and illegal execution, 
and also upon the guilty wretches who were the willing instru- 
ments of this sanguinary decree — Marquez, who at Orizava 
stipulated that he should be clothed with irresponsible power ; 
Mendez, who was rewarded with higher rank after the assassina- 
tion of Generals Arteaga and Salazar ; and Miramon, whose cru- 
elty was continued to the very last of his power, and many 
others. The nation, in sympathy with the bereaved families, 
maintained that these men were murderers, and demanded how 

* Causa de Fernando Maximiliano do Hapsourgo, Attorney-General Aspiroz, 
p. 289. Mexico, 1868. - - - - - - 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 229 

much better was the prince who gave them the authority and 
rewarded their acts. 

Some facts brought out in the trial were regarded as grave 
crimes against the republic, as even the formulated charges. 
The regency was one of these. When leaving the capital to 
take command at Queretaro, on the 7th of March, in view of 
the contingencies of war and his liability to death, Maximilian 
drew up a decree of regency. Though the French army had 
withdrawn from him, though he had seen the whole republic 
(save two cities) rise up against him, and in spite of the fact 
that the legations of Spain, France, Prussia, Belgium, Italy, 
Austria, and England at the capital had united in an earnest 
protest against continuing the hopeless struggle, and against 
the rule of the reckless men Maximilian had put in power, he 
determined to arrange for a continuation of this bloodshed ! 
He actually provided that in the event of his death a regency 
should come into power, naming as its members Sefiores Lares, 
Lacunza, and General Marquez, with two vice-regents to fill 
vacancies. This regency was to carry on the war and the gov- 
ernment until a Congress was assembled. As this could not be 
called until the war was over he thus aimed to prolong this 
arbitrary power even when he was in the grave ! * The horror 
of the nation on the discovery that he intended to continue thus 
the cruel struggle was greatly intensified by the fact that the 
universally hated traitor Marquez was to be elevated to the posi- 
tion of ruler over the people he had so bitterly wronged. The 
" Decree of Regency " was published in La Sombra de Arteaga 
at Queretaro, during the progress of the trial, and no doubt 
aided in his condemnation. 

" The Inviolability of the Constitution of Mexico," an article 
accepted by the nation in February, 1857, filled a very decisive 
position in this trial. The language runs thus : 

Article 128. This Constitution shall not lose its force and vigor even if 
its observance be interrupted by any rebellion. In case that, by means of 

* Documentor Oficiales, E. Lefevre, vol. ii, p. 446. 

18 



230 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

such an event, a government shall have been established contrary to the 
principles which it sanctions, immediately upon the people recovering 
their liberty its observance shall be re-established, and according to its 
provisions and the laws which have been framed in virtue of it they shall 
be judged, as well those who have figured in the government emanating 
from the rebellion as those who have co-operated with it. 

The law of January 25, 1862, was for the defense of this 
article of the Constitution, and it was shown on the trial that 
Maximilian was entirely without excuse. He knew all this be- 
fore he left his home for Mexico, President Juarez having 
warned him to this effect. Here is the evidence of Mr. Lerdo, 
secretary of state, to the two lawyers who, in an interview, 
hoped to break the force of the application of this heavy 
charge against their client : 

Having so reasoned with Mr. Lerdo, he replied that the law of January 
25, 1862, was a pre-existent law, and that its several dispositions must 
have been perfectly understood by the archduke before coming to Mexico. 
He also stated that an agent of the constitutional government, Sefior Don 
J. Teran, a gentleman well known for his intelligence and integrity, 
went to Miramar and demonstrated to the archduke the dangers of the 
enterprise of founding a monarchy : that there was no basis in Mexican 
society upon which to set up such a project, as Mexico had become too 
thoroughly republican in manner; that democracy had become profoundly 
rooted in the New "World and was thoroughly wedded to republican insti- 
tutions; that those who might uphold an empire were not those who 
had a secure following in the country, nor could they ever command suffi- 
cient elements to make it popular ; that it would lose its prestige from the 
fact of the necessity of an intervention (French) to uphold it, and would 
fall flat as soon as that support was withdrawn.* 

On ascertaining that his brother was to be put upon his trial, 
and hoping to help the solution of the case somewhat in his 
favor, the Emperor of Austria communicated, through the 
United States government, to President Juarez that he was 
" ready at once to reinstate Maximilian in all his rights of suc- 
cession as archduke upon his release and renouncing forever all 

* Memorandum sobre el proceso Del AixMduque, etc., por M. R. Palacios y R. M. 
de la Torre, p. 29. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 231 

projects in Mexico." In addition to this, but with a more grave 
sense of the prince's danger, the Queen of England and the 
Emperor of the French appealed to the United States govern- 
ment " to use any legitimate good offices within its power to 
avert the execution of Prince Maximilian." These messages 
had to be very cautiously and deferentially communicated, for 
the government and people of Mexico were then in no mood to 
tolerate any thing that looked toward outside dictation in any 
shape or form, in the duty which the nation in that hour owed 
to itself and its future. Mr. Seward carefully and delicately 
" requested Mr. Romero, if compatible with his convictions of 
duty, to make these sentiments known in a private and confi- 
dential manner to the republic of Mexico." 

Sixteen months previous, on learning of the execution of 
Generals Salazar and Arteaga, Mr. Seward had asked that the 
influence of the French government might be thrown against 
the decree of the 3d of October, and the merciless manner of 
its application, but the imperial minister declined to recognize 
any responsibility for France in the matter, saying that " Max- 
imilian was an emperor like any other, and that France had 
nothing to dictate to him respecting his conduct." * 

A similar answer might have been returned by Mr. Seward, 
but it was not so done. The offer of the restoration of Maxi- 
milian to his rights of succession did not reach President Juarez 
until after his death, but was of no moment in the case. 

The court-martial commenced at eight o'clock on the morning 
of the 13th of June, and on the afternoon of the 14th the verdict 
of guilty was pronounced against Maximilian, Miramon, and 
Mejia, and they were sentenced to be shot on the morning of 
the 16th. Three days were added to this by President Juarez. 
An appeal for pardon was made by the two leading lawyers for 
Maximilian, but was refused in these terms : 

This application for pardon, and others presented with the like object, 
having been examined with all the deliberation which the gravity of the 

* Documentos Oficiales recogidos en la Secretaria Privada de Maximiliano, por 
E. Lefevre, p. 402. 



232 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

case requires, the president of the republic has been pleased to determine 
that he cannot accede to them, because the weightiest reasons of jus- 
tice and the necessity of assuring the peace of the nation are opposed 
thereto. 

There are things that a powerful and trusted president may 
not dare to do, and to pardon this crime against a nation's life 
was one of them. He and his cabinet knew better than their 
critics the limitations of mercy in the case. They realized the 
deep indignation, on account of the acts of the so-called empire, 
which the developments of the trial had produced in the heart of 
the nation, and knew the danger which a failure of justice might 
involve to the future of the republic. Mr. Otterburg, then our 
embassador to Mexico, in a dispatch informed Mr. Seward that 
the government was aware how the Conservative party had been 
talking, and " giving evidence of a determination never during 
the prince's life to cease from advocating his claims to the 
crown of Mexico and from disturbing the quiet of the country 
by agitating his return/' * 

~No act of injustice was desired or contemplated on the pop- 
ular side. Reduced to the last analysis, the foreign archduke 
had shot their generals, taken in arms against his government; 
had they not the right to shoot him, taken in arms against 
theirs ? Their first emperor (Iturbide) had pledged his honor, 
when they exiled him and provided him with an ample pen- 
sion, never to return from Europe or trouble them again ; but, 
under encouragement from this same Conservative party, he 
had violated his word, and what assurance could they have that 
their second emperor would not violate his and return to plunge 
the nation once more into the horrors of a civil war? 

After hearing the appeals made to them for pardon on behalf 
of the archduke it was decided that it could not be granted, 
and the reasons were given by the supreme government of 
Mexico in justification of its conclusion that the sentence 
against Maximilian should be carried out. Senor Lerdo, the 
secretary of state, in reply to the lawyers of Maximilian, when 

* Diplomatic Correspondence of the United Slates, 1867, part ii, p. 434. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 233 



they came to reiterate their appeal for pardon for their client, 
gave this decision of the cabinet in the following language : 

The pardon of Maximilian might be very detrimental to the country, 
because, owing to the well-known vacillating nature of his character, 
there could be no great probability that he would abstain from another at- 
tempt. Civil war can and should end with the reconciliation of the par- 
ties; but in order to do this it is necessary that the government remove 
the chief disturbing elements that might lead to a probable uprising. In 
this process justice fulfills one of its functions. The country would call 
us to an account for an indulgence that might expose it to the dangers 
of a renewed agitation. The government has thought, previously and at 
present, with the greatest caution, upon the dangers of pardon as well as 
upon the consequences of death; and if it denies pardon, be assured, 
gentlemen, that it believes it demanded by national sentiment, justice, 
public welfare, and the need of giving peace to a country which, without 
this new element of monarchy, had had sufficient disturbance for the last 
fifty years. "Who would believe that men of revolutionary intent, to whom 
the progress of society, its advance, its institutions, are a sin and only 
serve to excite them to revolt, would settle down to quiet ? Who would 
assure us that Maximilian would live in Miramar, or wherever Providence 
might take him, and not desire to return to a country by which he be- 
lieves himself chosen ? What guarantees could the sovereigns of Europe 
give that we should not have a fresh invasion to sustain the empire ? 
Europe is not willing to see in the Mexicans men worthy to form a nation. 
It holds the very poorest idea of us ; it thinks that republican institutions 
are an idle dream of the demagogues. It is not impossible that Maximilian 
might be induced to again attempt the founding of an empire. The fatal 
inspirations which animated the Intervention might be revived, and the 
governments of Europe, under the pretext of civilizing us (in itself a blow 
at true morality) would arm new legions, which, though composed of for- 
eigners, would carry the Mexican flag in order to establish again the power 
of him whom they called emperor. Consequently the pardon would be a 
misfortune for us, and to the disdain and dissatisfaction with which such 
a grant would be viewed we would have to add the stirring up of hatred 
between the parties and the cry of treason upon all sides. One party 
would constantly turn its eyes toward Miramar, and a fresh violation of 
the principles of public justice would be imminent. Then might the in- 
dependence of Mexico pass through greater dangers than those which it 
has recently passed through at so great a cost. The existence of Mexico 
as an independent nation must not be left to the will of the governments 
of Europe. Our reforms, our progress, our liberty must not stop at the 



234 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

■wish of any foreign sovereign who might take a notion to father an em- 
peror who should endeavor to regulate the amount of liberty or servitude 
he thought best to bestow upon us. The life of Maximilian might be the 
excuse for an attempt at a viceroyalty. . . . The return of Maximilian to 
Europe might be a weapon for the calumniators and enemies of Mexico to 
bring about a restoration and the overthrow of the institutions of the coun- 
try. For nearly fifty years Mexico has pursued a policy of pardon and 
leniency, and the fruits of that policy have been anarchy among ourselves 
and loss of prestige abroad. Now, or never, may the republic consoli- 
date itself.* 

We now reach a point in this sad history which for Maximil- 
ian's own sake we heartily wish he had never allowed to occur. 
We refer to his active co-operation with some of those friends 
whom the government had allowed to have access to him to 
promote his comfort, and whom he desired to use in order 
that he might make his escape and avoid execution. Foremost 
of these was the Princess Salm-Salm, wife of Maximilian's first 
aid-de-camp. This prince was a German, a sort of "soldier of 
fortune," who had taken part in our civil war, and while in 
the United States had made the acquaintance of this lady, a 
Roman Catholic of Georgetown, D. C. Though an American, 
she seemed to take wonderfully to the theory of the divine right 
of kings and its kindred doctrines. After their marriage, at the 
close of our war, she accompanied her husband to Mexico, where 
he went to offer his services to Maximilian. On the capture 
of the archduke she attached herself to him to look after his 
wants, which was kindly permitted by the commanding general, 
under the express condition, however, that she was not to take 
advantage of her position to do any thing illegal in regard to 
the prisoner. But her book, soon afterward published, shows 
how lightly these engagements rested upon her conscience. 
She relates all her efforts, including the most questionable ones, 
where untruthfulness and deceptive measures were used by her, 
without a blush, and even glories in them in view of her ob- 
ject, which was to secure the archduke's escape by some means 
or other. 

* Memorandum sobre el p?-oceso, etc., Eiva Palacios y de la Torre, p. 58. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 235 

Her first effort was with the president, going to San Luis 
Potosi to interview him. Here she evidently did her best. 
But David's desire and prayer in one of his psalms, " Let 
integrity and uprightness preserve me," was so thoroughly 
embodied in Juarez's character that she could not shake his 
sense of duty. She returned to Queretaro to pursue her plan 
for the escape. Every thing depended upon a Mexican officer, 
Colonel Palacios, who had charge of the prisoners. She delayed 
her visit at his quarters that afternoon till it became dark, and 
then, professing fear to go home alone, requested him to escort 
her, which he did. On reaching the house she asked him to 
enter and be seated. She adroitly gained his confidence by talk- 
ing of his wife and newly born baby, and of their necessities 
in the future, and then came to what she wanted to propose. 
She first made him swear " by the life of his wife and babe " 
not to divulge to any one what she was about to confide to 
him, even if he rejected her proposition. Little suspecting the 
character of the affair, he gave his engagement to respect her 
secret. She then drew from her pocket two drafts on the im- 
perial family in Yienna for $100,000 each, to be paid to him and 
the other colonel (Yillanueva) on condition that the archduke 
should regain his liberty by their means. These drafts Maxi- 
milian had prepared and signed, and had given the princess his 
signet ring to be handed to Colonel Palacios, to be returned to 
the archduke at once by the colonel as a token that " all was 
right." The amazed colonel hesitated as he held the drafts in his 
hand. He was poor, and here was what seemed to him bound- 
less wealth for his wife and child in all their future. But he 
hesitated. The princess assured him it was for his country's 
good to do this thing, and not stain her record with the blood of 
the archduke, and, besides, he " would not be asked to do any 
thing ; he would have only to turn his back and close his eyes 
for ten minutes ; " others, who would be ready outside, would 
arrange for the rest of the escape. He declared himself unable 
just then to accept the drafts or the ring. He would reflect upon 
the matter in the night and give her his decision in the morning. 



236 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

She had $5,000 in gold ready for the escort, who stood ready 
to move in the matter. Greatly to her disappointment, the 
whole affair must be left over until the next night. 

The distracted colonel went to bed, but not to sleep. At 
midnight he rose, went to head-quarters, and divulged the plan 
to General Escobedo. At daylight the next morning a carriage 
was stationed at the door of the house where the Princess Salm- 
Salm was staying. Dr. Basch and the other two foreigners in 
the secret had been roused from their beds and sent off with the 
assurance that if they returned sooner than five days they would 
be shot. The lady was allowed to sleep until she was ready to 
rise, but on coming down-stairs she was ordered to enter the 
carriage to be driven to head-quarters. The account of the inter- 
view is as follows : 

In polite but sarcastic tone, General Escobedo observed that the air 
in Queretaro did not seem to agree with me, that it was, indeed, very 
bad. I assured him that I never felt better in all my life; but he 
insisted that I did not look well at all ! He had a carriage ready and 
an escort to take me to San Luis Potosi, w 7 here I should feel much better. 
I told him I had no desire whatever to go there, but thanked him for bis 
kindness. 

Seeing that she was not willing to accept the opportunity of 
withdrawing, and unable to endure her insincerity any longer, 
General Escobedo spoke out and upbraided her dishonorable 
conduct and her wicked attempt to bribe his officers and bring 
him into an embarrassing position. She tried to defend herself, 
and insisted on remaining in Queretaro. Orders were then 
given for her departure. 

She was permitted to return to her lodgings and pack her 
valise before leaving, and an officer in citizen's dress was detailed 
to escort her to San Luis Potosi. Before leaving her lodgings 
she had a scene with the captain, who was ordered to keep 
her in sight until she left. In her anger she drew her re- 
volver to shoot him on the spot. She might well remark after 
she cooled down and reflected on her whole conduct, as she 
does in closing the account : 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 237 

If I consider what I attempted to do, and that I was by no means yield- 
ing, I must acknowledge that I was treated throughout with great forbear- 
ance and courtesy, not only by General Escobedo, but also by Sefior Juarez 
and his secretary and all Mexicans with whom I came in contact.* 

Flight and bribery and falsehood, all sanctioned or concurred 
in by himself, are very unworthy associations to have identified 
with. Maximilian's name and last hours, especially when we 
recall the high standard of honor by which he wished to be 
known and remembered. 

On her arrival in San Luis Potosi the princess resolved to 
make one more of her efforts to save the archduke's life. Not- 
withstanding the serious way in which she was compromised 
in the effort for Maximilian's escape, the president consented 
to give her the interview she sought. "We will let her describe 
it in her own words. She writes : 

The last day before the execution had come ; the emperor was to be shot 
on the following morning. Though I had but little hope, I was resolved to 
make another effort and to appeal once more to the heart of that man on 
whose will depended the life of the emperor. It was eight o'clock in the 
evening when I went to see Mr. Juarez, who received me at once. He looked 
pale and suffering himself. With trembling lips I pleaded for the life of 
the emperor, or at least for delay. The president said that he could not 
grant it ; he would not prolong his agony any longer ; the emperor must die 
to-morrow. 

When I heard these cruel words I became frantic with grief. Trembling 
in every limb and sobbing, I fell down on my knees and pleaded with 
words which came from my heart, but which I cannot remember. Mr. 
Juarez tried to raise me, but I held his knees convulsively and said I 
would not leave him before he had granted his life. I saw the president 
was moved; he, as well as Mr. Iglesias, had tears in their eyes, but he 
answered me with a low and sad voice, "I am grieved, madam, to see 
you thus on your knees before me; but if all the kings and queens of 
Europe were in your place I could not spare that life. It is not I who take 
it, it is the people and the law, and if I should not do its will the people 
would take it and mine also." (P. 223.) 

Pier failure led her to regard Maximilian ever after as " my 
august martyr." 

* Ten Years of My Life, by the Princess Salra-Salm, pp. 211-220. New York, 
E. Worthington, 1877. 



238 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Even at this late hour Maximilian was still clinging to his 
belief that the Republicans would respect his rank and not 
dare to execute him. His companions tried to undeceive him. 
They were confined in rooms which were so situated that by 
looking diagonally across they could see each other's faces as 
they stood at their windows. Colonel Evans was taken to the 
premises by a gentleman who was present when the following 
took place. He writes : 

When my friend entered they were conversing. Miramon called out to 
Maximilian : 

' ' Emperor ! I beg you to prepare for death ; I tell you they will cer- 
tainly shoot us ! " 

Maximilian replied confidently, ' ' No ; they dare not do it ; they may 
shoot you, possibly, but Don Benito Juarez will not let me be killed. He 
will send me either to the United States or to Europe ! " 

Miramon replied, "I assure you that you are deceiving yourself; they 
will certainly shoot us all ! " (P. 235.) 

This assurance decided the matter in his mind ; he accepted 
the inevitable, and the rest of the time was devoted mostly to 
the remaining duties in a spirit which exhibited the better 
attributes of his nature. All efforts for pardon or escape had 
closed, the 18th of June had come, and at seven o'clock next 
morning he Avas to die. He addressed a telegram to the presi- 
dent pleading for the life of Miramon and Mejia, and that " he 
might be the only victim." He then addressed a copy of the 
following note to each of the lawyers who had defended him : 

My Dear Sir : The energetic and valiant defense which you made on 
my behalf demands that I assure you of my profoundest gratitude for 
your noble and generous service, which is deeply graven upon the heart 
of yours affectionately, Maximilian. 

And this letter to the president : 

Qceretaro, June 19, 1867. 
Senor Benito Juarez : Being at the point of death, in consequence 
of having wished to make the experiment whether new political institu- 
tions would put an end to the bloody civil war raging for so many years 
in this unhappy country, I will give up my life gladly if by its sacrifice 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 239 

peace and prosperity shall come to my new country. Profoundly per- 
suaded that nothing permanent can be founded upon a soil soaked with 
blood and torn by violent commotions, I implore you in the most solemn 
manner, and with the seriousness becoming my position, that my blood be 
the last to be shed, and that the same perseverance (which I was glad to 
recognize and fully esteemed in the midst of prosperity) with which you 
have defended the cause that has triumphed shall consecrate that blood 
to the noble task of reconciliation and of founding in a permanent and 
stable manner peace and tranquillity for this unhappy country.* 

(Signed) Maximilian. 

It will not be wondered at that some sad reflections clouded 
bis closing hours that morning, and that be was unable to keep 
them to himself. Here be was left to die in a land of hostile 
strangers without a word of sympathy from either those to 
whom he stood related beyond the seas, or from those whose 
purposes be was brought here to work out ; lured to his 
death by clericals whom he had tried so zealously to serve, 
but who, because he found it impossible to serve them in the 
despotic manner and extent which they required, had here 
left him alone and friendless to face all the consequences. 
Perhaps harder than all this to endure was the bitter remem- 
brance of that imperial pair at Paris who had first fired his 
ambition to attempt the impossible task, and made it still more 
impossible by withdrawing the help on which they led him to 
rely ; and, last but not least, to recall for the closing time 
on earth that supreme and " infallible " papal power whose 
will he was sent here to accomplish under the assurance that 
" the blessing and protection of Heaven " would rest upon 
the enterprise to which he was consecrated, and perpetuity be 
granted to the dynasty and empire which he came here to 
found ! 

Dr. Basch, his physician, tells us how bitterly be remembered 
Padre Fisher, who had done so much to induce him to change 
his mind and return to the capital to renew the war when he 
was already at Orizava on his way out of the country, and 
who had promised to proceed at once to Pome and complete the 

* Memorandum sobre el proceso, etc., p. 74. 



240 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

concordat which he had sketched, and whose mild requirements 
would, Maximilian was assured, have satisfied the nation and 
saved the empire ; and yet, swayed by other influences, proved 
false and returned from Rome without it. Here are the doc- 
tor's words as to how Maximilian regarded this man in these 
last hours in that prison in Queretaro : 

"Father Fisher, with his concordat, has lied and has deceived me." 
These words of the emperor are the most implicit condemnation of the 
conduct of the father.* 

There were also some others to whom, no doubt, some of 
these dying thoughts were given. Frias y Soto has voiced 
this remembrance, and we quote him, merely adding in expla- 
nation that the closing name refers to Eugenie, the French 
empress, by her original title. She was understood to have 
promoted zealously the origin and establishment of this Cath- 
olic empire in Mexico. The author says : 

In that supreme moment of the life of one sentenced to death a century- 
is lived. 

Maximilian must have thought then, with that instantaneous vision 
that can hardly be conceived, of the insane woman at Miramar ; of Napo- 
leon, feeling, on learning of this execution, terror touching his heart and 
the red wave of shame covering his face, . . . and of Rome cleansing with 
her papal mantle the drop of blood that would spatter from the scaffold 
at Queretaro on the infallible tiara of the pope-king. 

That look encompassed all the drama the secret thread of which began 
to be woven in the boudoir of "La Montijo."t 

At seven o'clock on the morning of the 19th of June, 1867, 
the execution of Maximilian, Miramon, and Mejia took place 
outside the walls of the city, at a place called the Cerro de las 
Campanas. The archduke bore himself with dignity in the 
terrible ordeal. We give a picture of the spot where they 
suffered and the little memorial erected upon it. His body 
was carefully embalmed and laid away for future disposition. 

* Eecuerdas de Mexico, by S. Basch, M.D., 1870, p. 74. 

f Notes on De Keratnfs Elevation and Fall of Maximilian, by Frias y Soto, 1870, 
p. 370. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 241 

It is now our duty to refer at this point to the case of a man 
who through all these intervening years has borne a heavy and 
peculiar cross for this dead prince — a man whom the world 
meanwhile had branded as guilty of the charge, until two years 
since, when the highest authority in the case has proved him 
innocent of the alleged wrong. The reader will remember the 
effort made by Maximilian to gain the sanction of the republi- 
can general for his own escape before the capture of Queretaro. 
That request was, of course, refused. But in brooding over 
the situation the archduke soon realized how unworthy was 
that attempt, and how fully he had compromised himself with 
his adherents there and with his friends in Europe should 
the facts become known. In order to save his own credit, he 
resolved upon a course that was to load down an officer in 
his service, for long years to come, under the terrible charge 
of " treason and dishonor." The world has widely heard of 
Colonel Lopez "selling his imperial master and his cause to 
the Republicans for thirty thousand dollars," and so ending 
the war in Mexico. For nearly twenty-four years he bore the 
weight of this burden, conscious all the time that he did 
not deserve it, but was merely the scape-goat of Maximilian's 
vanity. So satisfied were even good men that he richly de- 
served this opprobrium that when he died a few months ago 
(April 26, 1891) one of the leading Christian journals of this 
country headed an editorial on his departure with the words, 
"The Mexican Judas." It now is evident that this man's 
mouth was closed in his own defense from a sense of honor 
by which the archduke had bound him to save his own credit 
for courage and chivalry. People simply accepted the charge 
without examination, and Lopez bent down under it ; and so 
the years went on until the burden became intolerable. That 
life which was to have been, by the stipulation imposed upon 
him, the limit of his silence, was most mysteriously prolonged. 
At last, when feeling his own end approaching, and not being 
willing to go into the dark grave of a traitor, he made his appeal 
to the one man in all this world who could clear his character 



242 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

by an honest statement of the facts, to do him this justice with- 
out further delay. 

If those who regarded his crime with such detestation and 
shrunk from him had reflected, there certainly were several 
things that might have led them to be more cautious in their 
judgment, and to give him the benefit of the doubts they 
raised. For instance, thirty thousand dollars was a great sum 
of money in the year 1867 for the republican government or 
its army to have at its disposal for any thing but the strictest 
necessities, and much more to be able to spare for any such 
purpose as this. Even if the cash were plentiful and available 
for such purpose it would be hard to prove that it was really 
necessary for the object to be gained. Escobedo and his army 
did not need this help to finish their work. He had only to close 
his hand, and everything and every body in Queretaro was held 
and could not escape. Why purchase, and at such a price, what 
was his when he chose to take it ? Then, again, Colonel Lopez 
was constantly under the eye of his countrymen during all these 
intervening years, and those who knew him intimately asserted 
that no evidence of any such wealth as this meant was ever 
exhibited by him or in his condition. 

In the spring of 1889 Lopez appealed to General Escobedo, 
the republican commander at Queretaro, with whom the inter- 
view took place before the fall of that city, to state the facts of 
the case. General Escobedo compiled his report in answer to 
the request, and placed it in the hands of President Diaz, 
who ordered its publication in the volume Mexico d travez 
de los Siglos, from which it was copied into one of the journals 
of the capital, on the 13th of July, 1889. We present the 
most important items of the document, so that the reader can 
judge. The real proposition of Maximilian we have already 
stated on page 223. 

Mr. President : The imperialist colonel, Miguel Lopez, published iu 
one of the journals of this city a letter addressed to me asking me with all 
sincerity to express the truth regarding those events (the supposed treason). 
The reactionary press of Mexico takes from the book [referring to a work 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 243 

of Victor Daran, lately published at Rome, reviving the scandal against 
Lopez] that which shall most affect the history of our struggle against the 
so-called empire. They are working hard, with a vehement obstinacy, to 
have divulged the secret part of that affair relating to the supposed trea- 
son of Lopez and the taking of the town of Queretaro, claiming that, 
owing to the direct part which this officer was to take in it by betraying 
his sovereign and selling the countersign for gold, the town was to fall 
into the power of the Mexican army. . . . 

I divulge my knowledge of the affair for my own satisfaction, preferring 
to deposit the secret with the supreme government of the republic in order 
that this historical document may be preserved in the archives of the 
nation. . . . 

The imperialist colonel, Miguel Lopez, though unfaithful to his country, 
did not betray the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, nor did he sell his office 
for gold. On the 24th of May, 1867, Colonel Lopez came to me, asking 
permission to speak with me in private. I agreed, and accordingly sent 
away my adjutants, and remained alone with him. He told me that the 
emperor had requested him to come to me to beg me to keep the pro- 
foundest silence regarding the conference he (Lopez) had had with me as 
the emperor's agent on the evening of the 14th, because the emperor wished 
to save his prestige and reputation in Mexico and in EurojDe, which would 
be injured if the terms of the said conference and its results were made 
known. I replied to the envoy of the archduke that it would be totally 
indifferent to me whether or no I should keep the reserve as requested ; 
that neither way would my own honor or that of my cause be affected ; 
that he would certainly be directly affected by my silence, for it was already 
Avell known that he was being accused by his companions of disloyalty 
to the archduke, whom they said he had miserably betrayed ; also, that 
as I was in doubt as to the legality of such a request, having no proofs to 
believe him, I did not wish to effect any agreement with him, deeming 
that improper and unsuitable for me. 

Lopez replied that he cared little for the premature judgment passed 
upon his conduct ; that he would keep silence, because it was his duty to 
yield in all things to the desires of the emperor, to whom he owed very 
much, and to whom he could not be ungrateful. He added that he was 
provided with a document which cleared him of any stigma that might be 
cast upon him ; and in order only to set at rest the doubts which I had 
expressed he showed me the document referred to, which consisted of a 
letter addressed to him by the archduke, the authenticity of which ap- 
peared to me to be beyond all doubt. I took a copy of it, and it is as 
follows : 

"My Dear Colonel Lopez: We charge you to maintain the most pro- 
19 



244 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

found secrecy regarding the commission we gave you for General Escobedo, 
because if divulged our honor will be sullied. 

"Yours affectionately, Maximilian." 

Then Lopez asked me if I had any objection to keeping the secret, as it 
would not injure me in the least. I replied that I would reserve the right 
to divulge it when I might think it proper, without promising any definite 
time. 

This was all confirmed in an interview which the general had 
with the archduke before his execution, when he earnestly 
entreated him to agree with what Colonel Lopez desired on his 
behalf. ~We quote further from the general's narrative what 
Maximilian said on the subject : 

He entreated that I should grant him a special favor, the obligations of 
which would entail no consequences upon me, but which if I would grant 
he would be relieved of the weight resting upon his mind, as, in spite of 
possessing liberal ideas, he always bowed before the respectful recollections 
of his illustrious ancestors. He calmly said that he would probably be 
sentenced to death, and that he feared the judgment of history in deal- 
ing with his brief and stormy reign. He asked me if Colonel Lopez had 
spoken to me. Upon my replying in the affirmative he went on to say 
that he was not possessed of sufficient mental force to bear the reproaches 
which his companions in misfortune would heap upon him if they should 
know of the conference held between Lopez and myself by his orders (in 
regard to the desired escape from Queretaro), and that, therefore, not 
appealing to aught save to his situation, he begged me to keep silence 
regarding said conference, which would neither be difficult nor dishonor- 
able for me to do. I said to him that it appeared as if he was a victim to 
the treason of Lopez toward his person, an infamous act already stigma- 
tized with all the horrors of an execrable disloyalty. I said I had no 
object in revealing any thing of the past, but that rather than appeal to 
me he should do so to Lopez, who was the one morally injured in these 
events. 

The prince replied that Lopez would not speak so long as I kept 
silence ; that the time to which he would bind me not to reveal the re- 
sults of the conference was short, being until the Princess Carlota had 
ceased to live, and her life would be extinguished when she should learn of 
the execution of her husband. As a final answer to the requests of the 
archduke I stated that it seemed to me quite impossible to keep the 
secret even if Lopez should remain silent, because his defenders, his gen- 
erals, the foreign ministers, or the Princess Salm-Salm, who had done 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 245 

every thing in their power to save him, would not fail to make use of the 
current versions of the treason of Lopez and his inexplicable conduct to- 
ward himself as his chief and protector. In spite of this the archduke 
again insisted that I should keep the secret as requested, saying that the 
Princess Salm-Salm was prepared, not only to say nothing regarding that, 
but also to prevent the people interested in him from in any way referring 
to the disloyalty of Lopez, assuring me that all those persons would strictly 
keep their word and not mention the colonel. 

The condition in which the prince was, with his broken health, a pris- 
oner about to be brought to trial and condemned to death, his desire to 
preserve, even after death, a stainless name, moved me, and, yielding to 
a sentiment of consideration for the unfortunate prisoner, I promised to 
keep his secret so long as circumstances did not oblige me to lift the veil 
which I have this day lifted upon the facts which precipitated the fall of 
Queretaro, May 15, 1867. . . . The lengthy exposition of the facts just 
narrated, taken from the journal of operations of the general head-quarters 
of the army of operations, is historic truth, and I herewith deposit it in 
the hands of the supreme magistrate of the nation to dispose thereof as he 
sees fit. (Signed) M. Escobbdo. 

This evidence clears the character of Colonel Lopez from the 
stain so long and unjustly resting upon him, under a sense of 
duty to a man whose vanity and pride of family could impose 
such a burden upon one who had served him faithfully to the 
last hour. 

The city of Mexico was not captured till the 20th of June, 
after a siege of seventy days. It was cruelly prolonged by 
Marquez for his personal purpose. The two hundred thousand 
inhabitants were reduced by him to the extreme of oppression 
and distress. He kept up recruiting his force by all the vio- 
lence of the press-gang. Forced loans (some of them for im- 
mense sums of money) were extorted. False news of imperial 
victories in the columns of the Diaro Imperial was circulated, 
with " the approach of the emperor's army to relieve the cap- 
ital," and even fire-works and joy-bells gave forth their jubila- 
tion in honor of these monstrous lies, while for thirty-six days 
of the seventy Maximilian and his generals were prisoners or 
under trial. 

General Porfirio Diaz was conducting the siege with a force 



246 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

of thirty-five thousand men. He could have thus taken the city 
any day in June, but he humanely shrank from proceeding to 
the extremities of serious bombardment in which so many inno- 
cent people must suffer, expecting that a few days more of 
the terrible pressure would bring surrender. At length the for- 
eign ministers and members of the city government, ignoring 
Marquez and his army, resolved to make an effort to open nego- 
tiations with the republican general outside. None of the min- 
isters could do it except the American minister. Their govern- 
ments had recognized Maximilian's empire ; his government 
had never done so, and he was therefore in full relations with 
the republican government. The effort was made, and the en- 
tire truth of the whole situation became known, and the terms 
which General Diaz would offer to those willing to lay down 
their arms. This message was delivered to the commander of 
the foreign legion (chiefly Austrians), stipulating that if during 
the night they would cease their hostility, shut themselves up 
in the national palace, raise the white flag, and remain there 
until General Diaz should enter and receive their surrender they 
should all be spared and be escorted to Yera Cruz and allowed 
to embark without molestation. All, with one exception, grate- 
fully accepted the generous conditions, and the next morning 
the white flag was seen over the " Halls of Montezuma." Gen- 
eral Diaz, at the head of a portion of his army, rode peacefully 
into the city, and the war was over ! 

The liberal conditions were all fulfilled. The most surprising 
thing about the capture of the city was the non-appearance of 
the infamous Marquez. Every gate was guarded to secure 
him, but he was not found. On investigation it was learned 
that he had suddenly disappeared during the night, leaving his 
second in command, General Tabero, to bear the odium of a de- 
fense protracted beyond all reason. How he got away with his 
plunder has never been revealed. There are few crimes of which 
wicked men are guilty that were not laid to his charge by his 
countrymen — violence, robbery, and murder among them — and 
yet it was to a wretch of this infamous character that the arch- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 247 

duke extended his highest patronage and exalted him (as com- 
mander-in-chief and military member of the regency) to posi- 
tions where he could most irresponsibly and powerfully exert 
his baneful influence to promote the misery of his country. 
That such a man could effect his escape and be living to-day 
on his ill-gotten gains in the city of Havana is one of the mys- 
teries of the Providence that governs this earth. 

This man — the trusted and favorite general of the clerical 
party — the republican government would certainly have exe- 
cuted had they caught him. But for all the rest of his coun- 
trymen who had been deluded, and led astray the government 
provided a merciful penalty. After nearly four months of 
patient investigation of those who were compromised, on the 
2d of November, 1867, the government issued its decision in 
a general order by the minister of war covering every case, as 
follows : 

For native Mexicans who took service under the empire, either as offi- 
cials or in the army, the penalty was to be: 

1. To those who held the higher offices, or whose names were signed to 
the decree of October 3, 1865 (the Black Decree), with regents and presi- 
dents of council, the penalty was made banishment, subject to trial if 
they returned to Mexico. The number under this head were about fifteen 
persons. 

2. Those of lesser rank in the service of the enrpire, under-secretaries, 
etc., to the number of twenty-five, banishment until permitted to return. 

3. To all below these, but above the rank and file of the service, im- 
prisonment for from two to four years, being about two hundred in all. 

4. For all the rest, in the army, civil service, etc., they were allowed to 
go free and return to their homes, only being required to register their 
addresses and pursue a quiet course of life in obedience to the laws of the 
country. 

Only two hundred and fifty persons in all were subjected to these pen- 
alties. For the foreigners, all were permitted to leave the country with- 
out further molestation.* 

The bishops and compromised clergy had fled, fearing the 
vengeance of the government for the prominent part they had 

* Dispatch of United States Minister Plumb, Diplomatic Correspondence, 1867, 
part ii, p. 469. 



248 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

taken in the rebellion. They were not able, however, to assume 
much of the martyr aspect in their exile in view of the compar- 
atively gentle treatment dealt out by the government to those 
who had the courage to remain at home and face the results. 
These churchmen, after recovering from their scare, began to 
glide back again to their places. They were not interfered 
with, but it was understood by both sides that political Roman- 
ism was henceforth dead in Mexico, and that they must now 
and forever keep their hands off the nation's affairs and mind 
their religious work, and that alone — a hard lesson for them to 
learn, but a necessary one. 

The general amnesty, proclaimed in 1871, closed the last of 
these retributions. The death penalty was not imposed in any 
case by the government, and thus the request of the Archduke 
Maximilian was fully conceded. 

It may be doubted whether, in view of all the fearful prov- 
ocations to vengeance in the case, any government has ever 
been more forbearing, and even lenient, in the hour of victory 
than was this of Mexico in 1867. It will stand, when fully 
understood, in the future history of the world as a high honor 
to the true character of constitutional republicanism. 

"What a contrast is suggested by the following fact ! Two 
or three days after the capital was occupied by the republican 
forces some of the proprietors of the mercantile houses and 
other capitalists waited on the United States minister, and pro- 
posed that in view of the necessities for money which must 
exist to meet the immediate wants of the army, until the 
revenue from the custom-houses began to come in, they would 
be willing to furnish a voluntary loan of $200,000, without 
interest, payable at the convenience of the government. Gen- 
eral Diaz was surprised at such a proposition, especially from 
people who had been so recently and repeatedly fleeced by the 
traitor Marquez. He gratefully accepted the generous offer, 
making only one stipulation, that no part of this loan was to 
be accepted from any person compromised by connection with 
the imperial party. This was guaranteed, the money was forth- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 249 

with paid, and in due time it was gratefully returned by the 
government.* 

One would naturally expect that in this hour of triumphant 
peace and rest no disturbing element could possibly arise to put 
such conditions in jeopardy or attempt to fling the nation back 
into the fearful chaos from which it had just emerged ; but 
there was one man who would fain attempt even this diabolical 
work. The surrender of Yera Cruz to the republican army 
under General Benavides had already been arranged for, and 
in a few days more the Mexican flag would have floated un- 
challenged from the Gulf to California. 

War-ships of England, France, Austria, and the United 
States were at anchor in the harbor, waiting to witness the 
close of the requisite negotiations, when, unexpectedly, on the 
3d of June, the mail steamer Virginia hove in sight, having 
on board General Santa Anna, with a staff of five officers and 
a supply of munitions of war and a stock of proclamations for 
his purpose. General consternation was the result. Knowing 
the man, they could anticipate nothing from his advent at such 
an hour but confusion and destruction. The imperialist Gen- 
eral Gomez was in command of the Castle of San Juan de 
Uloa, which dominates the city and harbor. He had formerly 
been a friend and adherent of Santa Anna, and promptly in- 
vited him to land and remain there till arrangements could be 
made for a grand reception in the city. Within an hour after 
the band in the fort was playing marches of welcome and the 
garrison shouting, " Yiva el General Santa Ana ! " The for- 
eign soldiers on the shore responded, and all saw that he had 
but to land, and a hostile force, which he so well knew how to 
attract and increase, would be around him, and all other author- 
ity at an end. Fortunately, before he landed he invited a con- 
ference of officials on board the Virginia, and there announced 
his purpose " to set up a republic in place of the tottering 
empire, and with the assurance that he came under American 
protection" " after interviews with President Johnson and Mr. 

* Diplomatic Correspondence, 1867, p. 431. 



250 MEXICO IX TRANSITION. 

Seward, and at their solicitation, Maximilian having offered to 
deliver up the government of the country to him." These 
outrageous falsehoods opened the eyes of all present. He had 
overreached himself in asserting that the American govern- 
ment sustained him. A council of war was called that night at 
the city hall by the naval and military officers, with the consuls 
stationed at Yera Cruz. The conclusion was practically unani- 
mous that Santa Anna should not be allowed to land and at- 
tempt to spoil all that had been accomplished. Captain Roe, of 
the United States war steamer Tacony, was requested by the 
entire company to take charge of the matter and see Santa 
Anna sent off again in the ship that brought him. This he did 
in thorough style next morning, to Santa Anna's amazement 
and indignation. He escorted the Virginia for the first twenty 
miles, and parted from her with injunctions to her captain not 
to land the old general anywhere in Mexico. At Sisal Santa 
Anna sent a letter, inclosing one of his proclamations, to the 
Governor of Yucatan, with the request to give it publicit} 7 . 
The governor was aroused to the danger involved, and as soon 
as Santa Anna landed he arrested him, sending him off, for 
greater security, to the State of Campeche, to await the action 
of President Juarez. Our own government, under the circum- 
stances, approved the action of Captain Roe.* 

Afterward Santa Anna was tried (for the fourth time) for 
treason and sentenced to death. This was commuted by 
President Juarez to banishment for eight years, but under 
the general amnesty of 1871 he was permitted to return, and 
passed the remaining five years of his life in obscurity in 
the city of Mexico. 

On the evening of the 14th of July, as darkness settled down 
on the city of Yera Cruz, rockets were seen in the offing. A 
pilot was sent out, and when the vessel reached the harbor it 
was ascertained that it was the United States revenue cutter 
Wilderness, having on board the wife and family of President 
Juarez, after their long exile in the United States. Our gov 
* The Fall of Maximilian's Umpire, by Lieutenant Schroeder, p. 66, etc. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 251 

eminent had offered the vessel, through Senor Romero, to this 
devoted woman, to take her back to her country. They landed 
on the morning of the 15th, the very day when the honored 
president arrived at the city of Mexico from the North. The 
Vera Cruzanos made a joyful demonstration at the landing of 
Mrs. Juarez and her children. Every boat was in requisition as 
an escort fleet, while the ringing of bells, the booming of can- 
non, and the display of flags testified to the general rejoicing. 
This last act of courtesy from Mr. Seward touched many Mexi- 
can hearts. 

Beyond description were the rejoicings at the capital when 
the president and the people who had so fully trusted him met 
to celebrate the victory of constitutional republicanism. The 
future safety of their political system was guaranteed from in- 
terference of outside foes, the power of political Romanism 
was broken, while civil and religious freedom were won for all 
the future. The worthy instrument of all this mighty victory 
for freedom was here again, preserved through all the toil and 
danger and sufferings of those five dreadful years, to rejoice 
with his people, whom he had served so well and so faithfully. 
He was made, by the supporting mercy of God, equal to the 
height of his great mission, and in its closing triumphs showing 
himself to be equally generous and humane. To him truly, 
without qualification, might be ascribed the brilliant words 
which Victor Hugo addressed to him on the 20th of June, 
1867: 

America has two heroes, Lincoln and thee — Lincoln, by whom slavery 
has died, and thee, by whom liberty has lived. Mexico has been saved by 
a principle, by a man. Thou art that man ! 

"We would not be doing justice to the subject should we fail 
to recognize the religious character of Benito Juarez. No 
detailed statement exists of his belief, but his devout faith is 
constantly shown in the reverential manner in which he pro- 
claims his victories or recommends his people to seek the help 
of God in their emergencies. An irreligious man, as his cleri- 



252 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

cal enemies have called Juarez, would not have used such ex- 
pressions as the following in his proclamations to the nation : 
" Providence concedes me the satisfaction of announcing a vic- 
tory over the enemy." " Let us give thanks to Providence for 
having aided the Mexican people to reconquer their liberties." 
On account of his demand for the benefit of the State of some 
of the vast wealth held by the Church of Rome in Mexico, 
he was denounced as an enemy of true religion by the 
papal faction. Par from this, Juarez believed that in free- 
ing the Church from the political strife that had absorbed 
its energies to the detriment of its spiritual work he was 
aiding the Church to regain its lost mission to the souls 
of its people. To this belief all unprejudiced Mexicans 
hold firmly, and claim that Juarez's name shall be honored 
not only as a great leader, but as a devout worshiper of 
Jehovah. 

He believed himself an instrument in the hand of God to 
work out the liberty of his country. The simplicity of his life 
and actions was the result of this conception of his mission. 
Is there aught in the writings of any leader more admirable 
for his reverential tone and all absence of self-seeking than Jua- 
rez's words to the nation at the close of the dreadful struggle 
of the Intervention ? " Let the Mexican people fall on their 
knees before God, who has deigned to crown our arms with 
victory. He hath smitten the foreigner who oppressed us 
sorely. He hath established this his people in their rightful 
place. For he who hath this habitation in the heavens is the 
visitor and protector of our country, who strikes down those 
who came with intent to do us ill. The excellent, the only 
just, almighty, and eternal One is he who hath dispersed the 
nations who like vultures had fallen on Mexico." 

This far-seeing patriot did not live to see the grand success 
of evangelical missions in the land, yet he realized the benefit 
which a purer faith would be to his people. Shortly before 
his death he said to an intimate friend, now a government 
official, from whose lips we have heard it, that " upon the de- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 253 

velopment of Protestantism, largely depends the future happi- 
ness of our country." 

Juarez was greatly influenced by a sincere priest, Father 
Palacios, who, unable to accept the errors of the Roman Church, 
had come out from it with a little band of followers, and had 
established a service where the Bible was read. Thus a simple 
evangelical Church arose, which later joined our mission, and 
Brother Palacios labored faithfully as pastor of one of our 
churches until his death, in 1890. 

After the death of Maximilian effort was made by several 
parties to get possession of his body in order to convey it to 
Yienna. His physician, Dr. Basch, the Princess Salm-Salm, 
Captain Groller, of the Austrian corvette Elizabeth, then at 
Yera Cruz, and some others, made application for it to the 
Mexican government. All were refused. The body, care- 
fully embalmed, was still lying in the church at Queretaro. 
The reason why this refusal was returned was, first, that 
these parties were not authorized by the Austrian govern- 
ment to make such a demand, and, secondly, that the Mexican 
government could not, consistently with its own dignity, thus 
privately dispose of the mortal remains of the archduke. 
" An official act of the Austrian government or a petition 
from the family " was the proper procedure, and would be at 
once responded to. Of course, this was not pleasant to these 
parties, whose kinsmen, following Louis Napoleon's lead, had 
even denied the existence of a national government in Mex- 
ico or treated its claims with contempt. ISTow they had to 
face the consequences of their own injustice by " recognizing " 
that government and asking from it respectfully the favor 
desired. 

Finding that the only way to succeed was the just and hon- 
est one above intimated, the Austrian court laid aside its pride 
and the false purpose by which it was misled, and, in a candid 
and worthy manner, made its appeal by the chancellor of the 
Austrian empire, Baron von Benst, to the government of 
Mexico through its secretary of state, Sen or Lerdo, for the body 



25i MEXICO IX TRAXSITIOX. 

of the prince. It was promptly conceded by the Mexican gov- 
ernment. The following is the reply of the Mexican secretary 

of state : 

Department op Foreign Relations, ) 
Mexico, Nov. 4, 1867. S 

Mr. Minister: Vice-Admiral Tegethoff has delivered me your note. 
In it you say that his majesty, the Emperor of Austria, feels the very nat- 
ural desire that the mortal remains of his brother, the Archduke Ferdi- 
nand Maximilian, should find a last resting-place in the vault that holds 
the ashes of the princes of the house of Austria; that the father, mother, 
and brothers of the deceased archduke, as well as other members of the 
imperial family, participate in the desire: that his majesty, the emperor, 
hopes the government of Mexico, from a feeling of humanity, will assist 
in realizing this desire, to effect which Vice-Admiral Tegethoff has been 
sent to Mexico to request the president to permit the remains of the arch- 
duke to be taken to Europe. 

Conscious of the just sentiments expressed in your excellency's note, 
the president of the republic does not hesitate to gratify this natural de- 
sire of his majesty, the Emperor of Austria, and the imperial family. 

Instructed by the president, I have informed Vice-Admiral Tegethoff 
that the mortal remains of the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian will be 
delivered to him immediately to be carried to Europe, in compliance with 
the object of his mission. 

I have the honor to offer your excellency the assurances of my dis- 
tinguished consideration. S. Lerdo de Tejada.* 

The remains were transported from Queretaro to Vera Cruz 
at the expense of the Mexican government, and were attended 
by an escort of one hundred dragoons, with a number of officers. 
They reached "Vera Cruz on the 25th of November, the body 
was identified on the 26th and delivered to Admiral Tegethoff 
on board the frigate JVovara, the same vessel that three years 
and a half before had brought Maximilian and Carlota across 
the ocean to that very port. Now it takes back to Miramar the 
lifeless form of him who came with such high hopes, while the 
poor demented wife will not comprehend what they are doing 
as they lay him in the tomb of his ancestors ! 

It is but fair to add here the testimony borne by the two 

* Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 1867, part ii, p. 478. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 255 

leading lawyers, Senores Palacios and De la Torre, who defended 
Maximilian, as to the course pursued by the Mexican govern- 
ment through the trial, and the spirit of fairness shown by the 
president and secretary of state in all the interviews which they 
sought with them from first to last. Their own report of the 
trial, printed as a volume, was published at the expense of the 
government and every facility given them. They say : 

So numerous were the inaccuracies of the European press in referring 
to the tragic death of the archduke, so much that was offensive to our 
country was published, that we could not, in conscience, leave the history 
of the trial of our defendant buried in his tomb. All Mexico saw the 
consideration granted io the chiefs, officers, and soldiers of the Austrian 
army who surrendered at discretion to the general-in-chief. The repre- 
sentatives of France, England, Spain, Austria, Italy, Belgium, and the 
United States were witnesses of that consideration, and also saw that all 
the foreigners enjoyed full liberty and all sorts of guarantees. Yet, in 
spite of this public action of the authorities of our country, Mexico has 
been calumniated and held up to the world as unworthy of being a nation. 

It was the death of Maximilian that raised this cry, and we who were 
his defenders feel called upon to present the history of that painful event 
such as it is. The responsibility and the comments can then be placed 
upon their true ground. . . . 

As faithful narrators of this sad history we must acknowledge that the 
president, Juarez as well as his ministers, always granted us all the time 
we desired for many and lengthy interviews, and that to all our reasonings 
they replied with other arguments which betrayed a profound and patient 
study of all the elements which contributed to the tragic end of the em- 
pire. The same tranquil reasoning that Mr. Lerdo had shown, though 
expressed in different words, we found in the president. He let fall not 
a single word of enmity or vengeance, but there was underneath his replies 
an inflexible resolution which augmented our fears. He generally closed 
by saying that all that we had set forth would be weighed in the cabinet 
so that a just conclusion might be reached.* 

* Memorandum sobre el proceso, p. 4. 



256 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



CHAPTER IX. 

" Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord " — " So that men shall say, 
Verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth " — The conspirators against 
freedom — Could only be reached by the retributions of Almighty God — The 
pontiff — Temporal power for one thousand years — Decree of infallibility — 
Declaration of war — Downfall of Napoleon — The pope's temporal power ex- 
tinguished — Italy unified — Papal coin — Scene in San Angelo — Emperor Will- 
iam denies the pope's claim — Napoleon rushes to ruin at Sedan — End of his 
glory — Death of the Prince Imperial — Eugenie in exile — France republican — 
Religious liberty — Expulsion of the Jesuits. 

Had the guilty parties which had so desperately attempted to 
crush constitutional freedom in Mexico retired from their effort 
after the death of Maximilian, there was not a power in Europe 
which would have called them to account or inflicted any 
penalty upon them. And yet every one of those parties was 
held to a terrible responsibility, while a chastisement was in- 
flicted upon each of them that was an amazement to Europe and 
will never be forgotten. But who was it that thus took cog- 
nizance of their crimes against freedom and visited them with 
such condign vengeance? Not the aggrieved and injured 
party, for Mexico could not follow them across the sea. God 
Almighty himself espoused her cause and answered for her in 
his own way and time. Let us look at the facts of this wonder- 
ful retribution and see the evidence of the divine hand that 
punished them. 

There were six leading and responsible parties to this con- 
spiracy against Mexican freedom and against the right and 
duty of the United States to evangelize her neighbors. The 
Most High, as we judge by the providential results, allowed not 
one of them to escape the penalty due. These parties were, the 
pope — in whose interest the whole enterprise was undertaken ; 
Louis Napoleon, the pontiff's willing instrument ; Eugenie, that 
" power behind the throne," who had more to do with this most 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 257 

unwomanly work than yet appears ; Maximilian and Carlota, 
heart and soul devoted to the object to be accomplished ; and 
the Jesuits, those wily schemers, who had developed the enter- 
prise and were to utilize its consummation, when the sword had 
fully opened their way and done its work upon prostrate Mex- 
ico and a bleeding and divided United States. 

With reverent heart we bow before the divine Majesty and 
his work of vindication and vengeance. First, as to the pontiff. 
It was hardly necessary that Prince Bismarck should give the 
world his assurance that " the papacy has been apolitical power 
which, with the greatest audacity and with the most moment- 
ous consequences, has interfered with the affairs of this world," 
though his doing so carried corroboration of the fact where it 
might not otherwise have reached. The claim of temporal 
sovereignty has been to the pope as precious as the apple of his 
eye. He had held it for a thousand years as an essential ele- 
ment of his power, knowing well that a large portion of his 
peculiar immunities were held to him by this secular bond. To 
strike him here first of all, and so let loose the " rights " which 
he had gathered up and bound under this broad girdle, from the 
people he had so long misruled, was an act within the divine 
power alone. Let us mark the steps by which this was brought 
about. The convention of September, 1864, was a treaty be- 
tween Louis Napoleon and Victor Emmanuel, secretly consum- 
mated, which bound Napoleon to withdraw his troops from 
Koine in two years from that date. The secret was carefully 
kept for six months, and when announced it fell like a bomb- 
shell upon the Vatican. The anger of the papal party was un- 
bounded at what they designated as the " desertion of the pope 
by the emperor." Every one else was delighted, and the exul- 
tation of the people broke out on all sides. It was seen that 
it was the beginning of the collapse of the temporal power. 
It was stipulated aho in the convention that the capital of 
Italy was at once to be removed from Turin to Florence, a more 
central position, and nearer to Rome. Napoleon hoped that 
the pope might thus "be led to reconcile himself to accom- 



258 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



plished facts and bow with some grace to manifest destiny." 
Yain hope ! The pontiff, instead of taking counsel of expedi- 
ency or being guided by the light of the nineteenth century, 
took his stand in the eleventh by the side of Hildebrand, 
and developed his now famous "encyclical" Napoleon, it 
will be remembered, answered this by appointing Jerome 
Bonaparte to the regency as well as to the presidency of the 
Corps Legislatif. 

The indignation of the pope at Napoleon's action was un- 
bounded. But he held his displeasure in restraint, knowing 
that the emperor would bear little abuse from him. He could 
anathematize Victor Emmanuel to his heart's content, and did, 
for the king could do no more harm to the temporal power 
than he had done in this convention. It was different with 
Napoleon. If provoked he could order the immediate evacua- 
tion of Rome by the twenty thousand troops which held it for 
the pope-king and leave him to the tender mercies of his own 
people, which was what Pius IX. feared above all else. In the 
volume of his published speeches the pope had characterized 
them as " communists " and " demons let loose from hell ! " 
The people of whom he thus so violently spoke were the lib- 
erty-loving statesmen of Italy, who were wisely leading their 
countrymen on to constitutional liberty and peace, and "who had 
addressed to him the vigorous document found on page 111. It 
was truly said at that time, " Had it not been for these and 
their constitutional government the red republicans and Roman 
communists would have made short work of the papacy, and 
neither the pope nor Antonelli nor one of the Roman curia 
had dared to breathe Italian air. To-day his Vatican had been 
ashes, and instead of the mock imprisonment which he parades 
he would have gone to prison or to death." * It is wonderful 
what power for good these patriots whom he had thus maligned 
had over the masses, to keep them from excess and violence. 
The people only wanted the Church to attend to her proper 
work in the spiritual realm and leave secular affairs to them ; 

* Tlie Modern Jove, by William Arthur, p. 48. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 259 

but when the head of the clergy insisted on being the tem- 
poral ruler as well there was " confusion and every evil work," 
under which what was good withered and what was evil flour- 
ished. 

The pope alone could not see the danger arising from these 
facts, and supposed nothing more was necessary for peace and 
order except military power enough to hold in subjection to 
his will the three and a half millions of people within the Ro- 
man State, and as his own people refused to accept military 
service under him foreign mercenaries were necessary. All 
Italy had gladly accepted a constitutional sovereign, and the 
Church State was almost a unit in the same desire, as the vote 
taken shortly after this proved. 

Failing to bring the nations of Christendom to his will by 
the thunders of the " encyclical, " Pius IX. issued a call for an 
ecumenical council to pass the decree of his infallibility as 
an end of controversy, and as an authoritative voice that would 
subdue all dissent in the religious world as well as save his 
temporal power at home. Eight hundred bishops came to- 
gether, and after deliberating six months the vote was ascer- 
tained on the 13th of July, 1870. It was during the eighty- 
fifth secret session of the council, 601 members being present. 
The vote was : 

Placet (Yes) 451 

Placet juxta modum (with modification) 62 

Non-placet (No) 88 

601* 

On July 18, when the vote on the final adoption was taken, 
the disaffected and absentees reduced this number to 533, by 
whom, many of them under heavy pressure, the doctrine was 
accepted and the dogma proclaimed that afternoon. This in a 
Church which, according to the Annuario Pontifico of Rome, 
has 1,400 bishops and archbishops. Eight hundred and sixty- 
two took no part, or refused to vote " yes," so that the minority 

* Rome and the Neivest Fashions in Religion, by Hon. W. E. Gladstone, p. 74. 
20 



260 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

of 533 ingrafted this dogma of papal infallibility upon their 
creed. Yet this is called the act of an ecumenical or universal 
council ! 

This was the hour chosen by the Almighty to pour confusion 
on this blasphemous decree, in its attempt to subordinate the 
government of the world, in his name, in all things human and 
divine, to an individual will ! " And, behold, the day after the 
proclamation of the dogma, Napoleon III., the political ally 
and supporter of Pius IX., unchained the furies of war, which 
in a few weeks swept away the empire of France and with it 
the temporal power of the infallible pope." * The 533 prelates 
departed hastily from Rome, as it was rumored that Napoleon 
needed the twenty thousand men that garrisoned that city and 
that they would be left unprotected ! "What a sarcasm to call 
such a system a Roman Catholic Church, when in this emerg- 
ency these prelates knew that they could not find fifty Romans 
in the whole city willing to fight for their protection or that 
of their infallible head ! 

Many supplications were offered before many altars to God, 
the Yirgin Mary, and the saints, to crown the " eldest son of 
the Church " with victory and enable him soon to lower the 
prestige of that Protestant king. It was not long — from 
the 15th of July to the 1st of September, forty-seven days 
only — until two of the greatest armies that Europe ever saw in 
conflict met and made their appeal to the Lord of hosts to 
judge between them and grant victory to the side which he 
espoused. At least the Prussians made this appeal, and with 
great earnestness. How the French acted is not stated, but we 
know what great confidence they had in their equipment and 
their leading. Truly has inspiration said, "Some trust in 
chariots, and some in horses," but in war there is something 
more to trust in. The right, and Him who defends it, is more 
than all besides, as was here shown when a German empire 
arose from the victorious battle-field and Protestantism sprang 
to the political and military leadership of Europe. 

* Rome and the Newest Fashions in Religion, by Hon. W. E. Gladstone, p. 79. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 261 

The complete overthrow of Napoleon at Sedan opened the 
way for the Liberals of Italy to enter Rome. All Italy saw 
that the hour had come for her to claim her capital for her con- 
stitutional government, and entreated their king to occupy it. 
Victor Emmanuel was cautious, and before yielding to the voice 
of the people tried once more to conciliate the pontiff. Count 
Pondodi di San Martino was selected to offer the pope, in ex- 
change for the temporal sovereignty, 

Leonine Rome as a residence, including St. Peter's, the Vatican, with all 
its treasures, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Castle Gaudolfo, and 
their dependencies ; and these were all to be exempted from taxes and 
common law jurisdiction. This immunity was to be extended to any 
temporary presidency of the pope, conclave, or council. He was to have 
his own post-office and telegraph, choosing his own officials, to prefer 
benefices without royal permission, his seminaries were to be free from 
Italian scholastic authorities. Besides these he was to be freed from the 
entire papal debt, which the nation would assume, and he was to be pro- 
vided with an income of 3,255,000 lire per annum and guaranteed the 
right of diplomatic representation, free ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and im- 
munity of cardinals aud embassadors.* 

This liberal offer was contemptuously rejected. 

Seeing that Pius IX. was unwilling to concede any thing, 
the people of Italy laid siege to Rome and captured it. Victor 
Emmanuel entered it on the 31st of September, 1870. His re- 
ception was enthusiastic, accompanied by every manifestation 
of joy that a glad people could show to their deliverer and con- 
stitutional king. In order that no doubt should remain as to 
the fact that he was the accepted ruler of the Roman people 
Victor Emmanuel left the city until a vote could be taken. In 
due course the plebiscite was proclaimed that surprised the world. 
Forty-nine votes only were cast for the retention of the papal 
government, and fifty thousand against it, in favor of the king.f 

If ever a question was settled by the people it was in this 
case. No political madness could be greater than the attempt 

* McClintock & Strong's Cyclopcedia, vol. iv, p. 708. Christian World, vol. 
xxiv, p. 52. 

\ Christian World, vol. xxi, p. 355. 



262 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

of the pope and the Curia Rbmana to override its decision. 
Yet this was done and is being done. At once a most inflamma- 
tory appeal was issued by the pontiff to every European gov- 
ernment to unite to place him again on his throne ! Antonelli 
followed his master's appeal with another of the same class. 
Thus the" demand was made, not only to crush the Romans, no 
matter what suffering and bloodshed might be necessary, but 
also to provide a standing force to permanently sustain the 
papal throne ! 

Men paused and waited in surprise to see what response 
would be made to these furious demands of the papacy, but 
their hearts were relieved as hour after hour went past and no 
response came out of that ominous silence of the nations. No, 
not a protest was uttered, and not one hand was raised to help 
him in his dire emergency. All Europe concurred in what 
Roman freedom had done, in closing forever this hybrid gov- 
ernment, and leaving Victor Emmanuel free to enter and reign 
over a " willing people," who had so cordially accepted and 
chosen him as their sovereign. Amid the glad rejoicings of 
his people, a few days after he entered the city of Rome and 
papal misgovernment dropped into the dust. 

The institutions of united Italy were transferred from Flor- 
ence to the capital. Lovers of freedom from many lands sent 
their congratulations to the rejoicing sons of Italy. All were 
happy save the pope, and he was overflowing with rage. The 
language in which he condemned the whole affair was sim- 
ply awful. As to " the people," now enfranchised and free, he 
acted as if they were nothing in the case, and had no rights 
that he was bound to respect. The leading men of Italy felt 
themselves forced to give up all attempts at conciliation and 
to advance in the way they deemed best for the welfare of 
their country. Any plotting in the interests of his former 
power was sure to bring out the firmness of the government 
and of public opinion. Shortly after the establishment of the 
constitutional regime, a banquet was given in Rome, attended 
by members of both houses of parliament, the foreign embas- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 263 

sudors, and prominent men. The speecli of the evening was 
delivered by the mayor, Count Bianciani, whose closing words 
ought to have ended all uncertainty when he declared that 
" the people of Rome would rather see their city perish in 
ashes than again be subjected to papal domination ! " This 
declaration was heartily applauded. The sentiments of the 
Romans have not changed, as a recent speech by ex-Prime 
Minister Crispi shows : 

He declared that it was necessary to combat all persons, high or low, 
who were seeking to undermine the political edifice of Italy. The tem- 
poral power of the pope, although it had existed for centuries, had been 
only a transition period. Rome existed before it, and would continue 
to exist without it. Complaints or threats either from home or abroad 
would have no effect. He declared unassailable the utterance of King 
Humbert, that Rome forms an integral part of Italy, just as law forms a part 
of the modern world. 

He asserted that the pope possessed perfect religious liberty, and was 
only restricted — and less harshly than in other Catholic States — from en- 
croaching upon the sphere of national right. 

The hand of God is especially seen in the events which trans- 
pired at this period. The rapidity of the movements, the rela- 
tion which they lent each to the other, and their accumulated 
power for the purpose, all argue to an observing world that 
there was something more than human force behind the chain 
of events which so soon completely answered the preposterous 
claim advanced, in the name of God, on the 14th of July. 
Consider it, and say if Europe ever before saw any such chro- 
nology as this : 

1870, July 14. Infallibility proclaimed by the pope and his council. 

" July 15. War proclaimed against the only leading Protestant power 
on the continent by Napoleon III., "the Eldest Son 
of the Church." 

" Sept. 1. This eldest son captured by this Protestant king. 

" Sept. 20. The pope and his capital captured by a king whom he 
had excommunicated. 

" Oct. 2. The appreciation by the Roman people of the pope's 
paternal rule expressed by their almost unanimous deci- 
sion against it ! 



264 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

Divine Providence permitted this consummation of pontifical 
and imperial folly to proclaim itself in its pride and vainglory 
during those fifteen days of July, and then showed the world 
his overwhelming confusion of their claims in September. 
Well might devout men exclaim, as they did, " This is the 
Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes." 

The work to be done in Italy was identical with that Mexico 
was engaged upon — the abolishing of the censorship and the 
Inquisition, the proclamation of freedom of the press and 
of worship, the provision for education and the public debt, 
the sale of monastic properties, sending the swarms of indo- 
lent monks to earn their own living. The beneficent effects 
of these changes were soon manifest. Some incidents in 
the author's experience may show the changes as well as any 
thing else. On our return from mission work in India, Rome 
was still famous for her intolerance, only holding her people 
down by the presence of foreign troops. Fourteen years later, 
on our second return from the mission field, we resolved to pass 
a few weeks in Rome, and see the effects of the happy changes 
that had occurred, and which our experience in Mexico had 
prepared us more fully to appreciate. 

The first indication of the changed state of public opinion 
was given as we drove up to St. Peter's, and in paying the 
coachman I handed him, among others, a soldi bearing the 
inscription of the papal government. To my surprise the man 
objected to take that copper. When I said that it was one of 
the holy father's own coins he shrugged his shoulders as he 
repeated contemptuously, "Holy father! Please change it, 
sir." He preferred one bearing the image and superscription 
of his king, Victor Emmanuel. We were within sight of the 
windows of the Vatican, and yet this cabman ventured to show 
his animosity toward the government of the pope in a way that 
might have sent him to the Inquisition had he uttered it a few 
years previously. 

On entering the Castle of San Angelo we shuddered at the 
thought of the cruelties perpetrated within its walls for hundreds 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 265 

of years past. Our attention was called to the soldiers on 
guard; they were bright, intelligent-looking men, and — won- 
der of wonders ! — away on the far side of the room we noted 
many of them grouped near a large case of books, which proved 
to be a depository of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and 
the Holy Scriptures in Italian, French, and other languages, on 
sale for all who wished to buy, right here in the former prison 
of the Inquisition. Shades of Alva and Torquemada ! Was 
this real, or only a dream 1 It was indeed wrought out by more 
than human power, by the " mighty working of Him who is able 
to subdue all things unto himself." In the cells of this castle 
our brethren had suffered, not for wrong-doing, but for their 
evangelical sentiments such as we cherish. What an answer to 
the martyr's cry, " How long, O Lord, how long ? " was the en- 
trance of Yictor Emmanuel, bringing religious liberty to " them 
that were bound," and letting " the oppressed go free ! " 

It was delightful to see the Protestant churches already 
erected (our own in Piazza Poli) where so recently none were 
allowed, nor were evangelical services permitted to be held in 
a private house. 

We found nine Protestant churches. Since then this num- 
ber has been increased, and at present there are few towns of 
importance in Italy where a congregation of converted Italians 
cannot be found. Rev. William Arthur, of London, was then 
in Rome. Few foreigners have done more to help Italian free- 
dom than has this distinguished man. It was a great privilege 
to meet him and have his assistance to realize the wondrous 
changes that have transpired since the fall of the pope from his 
temporal power. One of the most remarkable of these was to 
occur in the Wesleyan Methodist church on the following day 
under his own presidency. When we were parting he said to 
us, "Would you not like to be present at our soldiers' sacra- 
mental service in our church to-morrow ? " It was in con- 
nection with the removal of this brigade from Rome to another 
city. We well knew that the Wesleyan Mission had been 
devoting much attention to the Italian military and sustains a 



266 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

regular chaplain for them. Hundreds of these men have been 
converted under this ministry, and in their changes to new 
stations take their notes of removal and report themselves for 
pastoral care where they go, the incoming men doing the 
same, and thus sustaining the services held for their benefit. 
It was the expressed and positive resolve of Victor Emmanuel 
that his soldiers should have the fullest religious freedom. The 
officers sympathize with their sovereign's wishes, and so the 
men enjoy their privileges. 

We had no correct idea how far this had been successful 
with them, though we had evidently touched this matter at San 
Angelo. "We were therefore rejoiced to have a nearer view. 
Had we found even a dozen or a score of such men it would 
have been a joy and delight. Our surprise may therefore be 
imagined when on entering we found the center of the little 
church filled with happy-looking men wearing the uniform of 
Victor Emmanuel, William Arthur presiding over the beautiful 
service and using Italy's own sweet language in doing so. One 
of the soldiers read the yearly report of the progress of the 
work among them. I counted the exact number present, and 
found there were one hundred and thirty-two; and the report 
accounted for the difference between that number and one 
hundred and fifty, for those who were unable to attend that 
day by duties from which they could not be excused, and other 
causes. The service closed by the gift from Mr. Arthur to 
each of a new pocket Bible, for all of these soldiers had been 
taught to read as well as having been led to Christ. This was 
the most thrilling and significant sight on which we had gazed 
during our visit to the old city. Think of it ! Here we were 
among one hundred and thirty-two of Victor Emmanuel's sol- 
diers — the men who take care of the pope, that nothing may 
harm him, and who garrison Rome, " sitting together in heav- 
enly places" in a Methodist church, with open doors, speaking 
their experience in love-feast fashion, within rifle-shot of the 
Vatican ! We concluded that " the right side of the world was 
coming up." 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 267 

If any fact is needed to render all this still more emphatic as 
a suitable consummation of the penalty of Providence in the 
abolition of his temporal power it may be found in the cor- 
respondence which so soon after took place between the pope 
and the venerable Emperor William of Germany. To understand 
the deep significance of the claim insinuated so adroitly by the 
pope — that baptism, any baptism, Protestant as well as Romanist 
— gave him claims and control over all who had received the rite, 
to compel conformity to the rest of Rome's requirements, we must 
remember that such is the doctrine of Romanism, and one of 
their justifications for the persecution of Protestants. Secretary 
Thompson's valuable work presents the claims, and gives the 
authorities relied upon, from the Council of Trent down.* 
To have that claim conceded in any way, even by silence on the 
part of Emperor William, would have been counted as a great 
gain by the pope, but the emperor was too vigilant to be thus 
entrapped, and meets the claim, as we shall see, very effectively. 
Lord John Russell, then British premier, was equally ready to 
repudiate the audacious claim of " lordship over all baptized 
persons," when he said in Parliament, " Rome, no longer satis- 
fied with equality, claims ascendency. This would include the 
queen and the Parliament. I decline it!" 

The unhesitating reply of the emperor is refreshing — and in 
such a quiet, friendly way, too — when he plainly tells this " infal- 
lible " old pope that he is mistaken and has fallen into some 
errors on the subject mentioned in his letter, and that the 
trouble is from his own clergy "assisting the enemies of all 
law." He closes with the assurance that his own difference of 
opinion with any of his neighbors did not hinder him from 
" living in peace with them." A very broad hint to his vener- 
able correspondent, while his repudiation of papal headship in 
Christianity in favor of that of the divine Saviour is grand and 
most appropriate ! 

The letters were regarded of so much importance that as 
soon as they appeared in Berlin they were telegraphed to the 

* The Papacy and the Civil Power, p. 613. New York, Harper & Brothers. 



268 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

New York Times. The date of the pope's letter is the 7th of 
August, 1873, and is as follows : 

Your Majesty : The measures which have been adopted by your maj- 
esty's government for some time past all aim more and more at the de- 
struction of Catholicism. When I seriously ponder over the causes which 
must have led to these very hard measures, I confess that I am unable to 
discover any reasons for such a course. On the other hand, I am informed 
that your majesty does not countenance the proceedings of your govern- 
ment, and does not approve the harshness of the measures adopted against 
the Catholic religion. If, then, it be true that your majesty does not ap- 
prove thereof — and the letters which your august majesty has addressed 
to me formerly sufficiently demonstrate that you cannot approve that 
which is now occurring — if, I say, your majesty does not approve of your 
government continuing in the path it has chosen, of further extending its 
rigorous measures against the religion of Jesus Christ, whereby the latter 
is most injuriously affected — will your majesty, then, not become con- 
vinced that these very measures have no other effect than that of under- 
mining your majesty's own throne? I speak with frankness, for my 
banner is truth ; I speak in order to fulfill one of my duties, which consists 
in telling the truth to all, even to those who are not Catholics ; for every 
one who has been baptized belongs in some way or other, which to define 
more precisely would be here out of place — belongs,- 1 say to the pope. I 
cherish the conviction that your majesty will receive my observations 
with your usual goodness, and will adopt the measures necessary in the 
present case. While offering to your most gracious majesty the expres- 
sion of my devotion and esteem I pray to God that he may enfold your 
majesty and myself in one and the same bond of mercy. 

(Signed) Pio. 

The emperor wrote in reply from Berlin on the 3d of 
September : 

lam glad that your holiness has, as in former times, done me the honor to 
write to me. I rejoice the more at this since an opportunity is thereby 
afforded me of correcting errors which, as appears from the contents of the 
letter of your holiness of the 7th of August, must have occurred in the com- 
munications you have received relative to German affairs. If the reports 
which are made to your holiness respecting the German questions only 
stated the truth, it would not be possible for your holiness to entertain 
the supposition that my government enters upon a path which I do not 
approve. According to the constitution of my States, such a case could 
not happen, since the laws and government measures in Prussia require 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 269 

my consent as sovereign. To my deep sorrow a portion of my Catholic 
subjects have organized for the past two years a political party, which 
endeavors to disturb by intrigues hostile to the State the religious peace 
which has existed in Prussia for centuries. Leading Catholic priests have 
unfortunately not only approved this movement, but joined in it to the ex- 
tent of open revolt against existing laws. It will not have escaped the 
observation of your holiness that similar indications manifest themselves 
at the present time in several European and some transatlantic States. It 
is not my mission to investigate the causes by which the clergy and the 
faithful of one of the Christian denominations can be induced to actively 
assist the enemies of all law, but it certainly is my mission to protect in- 
ternal peace and preserve the authority of the laws in the State whose 
government has been intrusted to me by God. I am conscious that I owe 
hereafter an account of the accomplishment of this my kingly duty. I 
shall maintain order and law in my states against all attacks, as long as 
God gives me the power. I am in duty bound to it as a Christian mon- 
arch, even when to my sorrow I have to fulfill this royal duty against serv- 
ants of a Church which, I suppose, acknowledges no less than the evangel- 
ical Church that the commandment of obedience to secular authority is an 
emanation of the revealed will of God. Many of the priests in Prussia 
subject to your holiness disown, to my regret, the Christian doctrine in 
this respect, and place my government under the necessity, supported by 
the great majority of my loyal Catholic and evangelical subjects, of ex- 
torting obedience to the law by worldly means. I willingly entertain the 
hope that your holiness, upon being informed of the true position of 
affairs, will use your authority to put an end to the agitation, carried on 
amid deplorable distortion of the truth and abuse of priestly authority. 
The religion of Jesus Christ has, as I attest to your holiness before God, 
nothing to do with these intrigues, any more than has truth, to whose 
banner, invoked by your holiness, I unreservedly subscribe. There is one 
more expression in the letter of your holiness which I cannot pass over 
without contradiction, although it is not based upon the previous infor- 
mation of your holiness, namely, the expression that every one that has 
received baptism belongs to the pope. The evangelical creed, which, as 
must be known to your holiness, I, like my ancestors, and the majority of 
my subjects, profess, does not permit us to accept in our relations to God 
any other medium than our Lord Jesus Christ. The difference of belief 
does not prevent me living in peace with those who do not share mine, 
and, offering your holiness the expression of my personal devotion and 
esteem, I, etc. (Signed) William.* 

* Christian World, 1873, vol. xxiv, p. 363. 



270 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

This manly Protestant letter totally ignores and brushes aside 
all claims of "temporal power" and personal "infallibility," 
and must have opened the eyes even of the pope himself for the 
moment to the amazing changes that had transpired in his con- 
dition ! 

Let us now look at the retribution upon Napoleon. His 
course showed that his ambition was to be the dictator of 
Europe, as his uncle had been. He was not trusted by France, 
and six attempts were made to assassinate him. His patronage 
of the papacy, his intervention in Mexico, his desire to help the 
Confederacy, and his interference with Italian affairs all were 
for his personal aggrandizement, yet not one of them redounded 
to his credit or increased his popularity. His greatest ambition 
was to loosen the bonds of German unity and arrest her aspira- 
tion to be the leading power in Europe. 

Napoleon did not dream of the results when he invited this 
quarrel with the liberty-loving Germans. He had prepared 
for it for years, and the miserable pretext of the "Spanish 
marriages" furnished the occasion. A fancied insult to his em- 
bassador was sufficient for him to rush into war, but unex- 
pectedly to him the Germans were well prepared to meet him, 
not at Berlin, as he supposed, but on French ground, for they 
had crossed the Rhine before lie could reach it. The battle 
between these two great hosts was soon begun. Three days it 
raged, till the French were driven back on Sedan, and their 
magnificent cavalry — the steel-clad cuirassiers — held in reserve 
as Napoleon's last hope, had been overwhelmed, and lay a 
shattered wreck in the open space between. This was the 
supreme moment of Prussian valor. Forbes, the famous war 
correspondent of the London Daily News, was present and 
thus describes it. With the Prussian sovereign were Yon 
Moltke, Bismarck, and the royal staff and some privileged per- 
sons. " King William had risen to his feet and was intently 
watching the issue. The strained silence was curiously broken 
by the snap of a closing binocular, followed by the decisive 
words, 'It is all over with the French now!' Every eye 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 271 

turned on the speaker, a resolute man in blue undress uniform 
that was not German. He was none other than General Phil 
Sheridan, representative of the United States army attached to 
the royal head-quarters. At the word the German chiefs ran 
to shake the foreign soldier by the hand, for they knew the 
comment came from the past-master in the art of war." 

The sad contrast of the two monarchs as they met next morn- 
ing is marked by Forbes : " The German tall, upright, square- 
shouldered, with flush of health on his cheek and flash of victory 
from the keen grey eye under his helmet, . . . the Frenchman, 
bent, with leaden face, eye drooping and lip quivering, ailing 
in body and ill at ease in mind." 

The language of Napoleon's surrender is pitiful indeed. He 
said, " Unable to die at the head of my army, I tender to your 
majesty my sword." The interview was brief. Twenty 
minutes sufficed, as Bismarck and Yon Moltke had the docu- 
ments ready for signature. Early the next morning Napoleon 
entered the waiting carriage, and with an escort of sixty Ger- 
man dragoons took his departure as a life-prisoner for Wil- 
helmshoe, a German fortress near Cassel, never to wear a crown 
again ! 

Appropriately does the author of the article in the Libro 
Eojo of Mexico comment upon this utter downfall of this 
enemy of his country's freedom, when he writes : 

Napoleon III. must have comprehended, as he surrendered at Sedan, 
the great exaltation of victory, the great agony of defeat; all the inex- 
plicable bitterness of a capitulation, and the futility of conflicts between 
nations who shed their blood, spend their treasure, and shatter the ele- 
ments of life in the struggles which excite their evil passions, in the un- 
bridling of which all is lost, in spite of the will of the masses. (P. 146.) 

How bitter must have been his reflections as he afterward 
learned of the capture of Paris, the cession of Alsace and Lor- 
raine, the victorious king crowned in Versailles emperor of 
united Germany, and the Rhine made the permanent boundary 
between the two countries ! "What makes all this more signifi- 
cant is the fact that it was the Teuton triumphing over the man 



272 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

who, eight years before, announced, with such a nourish of trum- 
pets, his intention to open out a career for the Latin race and 
all that it implied on the soil of the New World, which was 
to be " one of the most glorious enterprises of the nineteenth 
century " and " the most brilliant event " of his career ! Poor 
man ! What a " bubble " reputation was his ! It began in the 
fortress of Ham and now closes in the fortress of Wilhelmshoe, 
while France resuscitates the republican government which he 
had so foully dissolved ! Well might Mr. Gladstone remark, as 
he did at the time, " History records no more striking example 
of swift retribution of chimerical ambition." 

Usually it is not considered appropriate to subject a lady to 
hostile criticism, unless she willfully steps beyond the bounds 
which propriety prescribes for her action and subjects others 
to injury. ' Unfortunately for the Empress Eugenie, she early 
began to assume the role of a partisan of the papacy and to 
throw all her influence against religious freedom. It was not 
French Protestants alone who had reason to complain that her 
beautiful hand was heavy against their rights, and that Na- 
poleon had placed "a frivolous Spanish bigot at the head of 
the French court." 

Shortly after the coup d'etat she was married to the em- 
peror (30th of January, 1853) in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, 
in royal magnificence. If fidelity to the pope could have 
secured providential care and blessings, then she should have 
greatly enjoyed her lot in life instead of sinking to be the un- 
happy creature which she soon became and is to-day. Madame 
Carette, her lady of honor, in her volume entitled Recollections 
of the Court of the Tuileries, which is understood to have 
been issued under the permission of the ex-empress, tells us of 
her great devotion to her religion — how, for instance, "every 
year on Palm Sunday the empress received from the holy father 
at Pome a palm branch, blessed by him, which was hung at the 
head of her bed as a protection from evil during the year ; " 
also of her many prayers and religions observances. But 
she was to learn erelong what mere " fables " these things 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 273 

amounted to in the storm of realities to which her surround- 
ings and her course of life was leading her. "While people were 
admiring her beauty, who could imagine that the " canker and 
the grief " had already laid hold on her, or that the following 
sentence would ever publicly describe her condition ? Madame 
Carette writes : 

A Spanish, tradition has it that the pearls with which brides adorn them- 
selves on their wedding-day become the symbol of the tears which they 
must shed during their married life. The empress, scorning the super- 
stition, wore on that day a superb collar of incomparably beautiful pearls 
which almost covered the satin corsage. Alas ! the tradition was but too 
completely fulfilled ! This collar was sold among her other jewels by her 
majesty after the war. 

What was the cause of this terrible realization ? The authoress 
continues and makes the best representation she can of the em- 
peror, as loving Eugenie after a sort, but frankly admits the 
true reason that had blighted her existence. She says : 

Nevertheless, after eight years of married life, the empress had already 
experienced more than one conjugal affront. The emperor, yielding to his 
former easy indulgence in unworthy pleasures, and influenced by the lax- 
ity of morals in those by whom he was surrounded, did not always suf- 
ficiently consider her sensitiveness as queen and woman. In the very height 
of her youth and beauty she was made to taste the subtile poison of infi- 
delity, which corrupts the most delicate and secret sensibilities of a wo- 
man's heart. After abandoning himself to these temporary distractions, 
one of which gained such unhappy notoriety, the emperor, who, like most 
men, attached no importance to these passing caprices, always seemed 
surprised that they had troubled his wife, since she alone occupied a really 
important and honored place in his life. She became irremediably as- 
sailed by melancholy. Dating from that time a marked change took place 
in her majesty's tastes and habits. It seemed that her youth had quite 
vanished, while the consciousness of her rank, hitherto scarcely discern- 
ible, was now plainly visible on the ever-charming features of the grief- 
matured woman. (P. 61.) 

This man was viler than the world imagined when he could 
thus injure this beautiful woman and consign her to premature 
old age, and then defend himself by the fact of his prefer- 



274 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

ence of her and the position to which he had raised her as suf- 
ficient to condone his conduct ! 

Notwithstanding, she was the "power behind the throne," 
after events proving that she was the great upholder of the 
Jesuits. She influenced Napoleon in his inimical position to- 
ward Italy and Mexico, sustained the pope to the last degree, 
and fomented the animosity with which the growing strength 
of Prussia was regarded. She cherished intense confidence that 
this Protestant power was to be broken, and that her husband 
was the instrument to accomplish this great work for the papacy. 
She identified herself thoroughly with the effort, and much is 
contained in the words attributed to her when the campaign 
against Prussia opened, and she raised her hand with the signifi- 
cant words, " This is my war ! " Then began the prolonged 
prayers at the shrine of " Our Lady of Victory," which she 
so zealously kept up during the entire period of the conflict, 
accompanied with offerings of great value. A large number of 
ladies assisted her in these intercessions, and they confidently 
expected the most decisive victories ! Before this time, when 
she and her husband were at the height of power and influ- 
ence, Horace Greeley had visited Paris and studied the situ- 
ation, especially in the part taken by the empress, and on his 
return, while delivering a lecture on Prance in the Westminster 
Church in Brooklyn, he was quite carried away by the convic- 
tions which crowded upon him. We quote from the report his 
remarkable utterance : 

Near the end of his discourse Horace Greeley seemed to become elevated 
almost like a seer, and his words appeared like prophesies as he spoke of a 
day coming when, ' ' as sure as there is a God in heaven, Napoleon III. will 
pay the penalty for having outraged moral and civil law. And thou, 
Eugenie, beautiful queen of power and of fashion, when that day does 
arrive, thou wilt have thy share in the penalty ! " 

When the blow came that so overwhelmingly shattered the 
power of the empire she escaped from Paris by the kind help 
of an American, Dr. Evans, a dentist in Paris, and made her 
home in England, to which Napoleon soon came, it being under- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 275 

stood that his escape from the fortress at "Wilhelmshohe was 
not unwelcome to the German government. 

Meanwhile Italy had reached her capital and consolidated 
her power. Mackenzie tells us that Eugenie was so enraged at 
this fact that she exclaimed, " Rather the Prussians in Paris than 
the Italians in Rome ! " (P. 67.) But the world was then no 
longer ruled by her preferences. Madame Carette's book shows 
the estimate in which Mexico's public men were held at France 
while she was at the head of its gossip. Benito Juarez was 
" that ambitious barbarian whom the arrival of Maximilian in 
Mexico had temporarily reduced to powerlessness ; " the repub- 
lican forces were " savages " and " bands of ferocious adventur- 
ers, who exercised neither justice nor mercy." (P. 260.) 

Perhaps in her bigotry Eugenie most of all regretted that 
France should re-establish the republic and maintain true relig- 
ious liberty. The fall of her power was good news for evan- 
gelical Christians. That grand Scotchman, Mr. McAll, was 
soon in Paris beginning the work that has had such a develop- 
ment, reporting now forty-four halls in Paris and eighty-six 
in the surrounding towns, with two hundred and fifty -nine 
helpers, while about two hundred and fifty, thousand people 
regularly hear the Gospel preached on week-days and the Sab- 
bath in those places. The writer had an opportunity of seeing 
some of these audiences in 1879, and can testify that not merely 
the " wearers of the blouse," but all sorts of people, avail them- 
selves of the privilege. On reaching such a place one evening 
I found the hall well filled, and the audience singing with great 
satisfaction French adaptations of Gospel Hymns. There was 
a delay in the service, as the preacher had not arrived, so they 
still sang on. The gentleman in charge was watching the door 
for the expected help, and finally he left the desk and came to 
inquire if I was a minister. He requested me to preach, which 
I was willing to do, but could not in French, so he asked if 
some one in the audience who spoke English would interpret 
for me. A gentleman came forward and stood by my side in 
the pulpit. Meanwhile I had determined to take a theme of an 

21 



276 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

experimental character — the witness of the Holy Spirit to the 
sonship of Christian believers. While I tried to present it in 
as simple a manner as possible, yet I felt the subject might 
be " strong meat " for people who might have come to this 
service without some good measure of religious feeling and in- 
telligence ; but, to my delight, I found I had the most earnest 
attention of the audience, and that my translator never seemed 
at a loss for a word, that the theme was evidently not new to 
him or them. At the close I was told he was a banker of the 
city. This in Paris ! It was gloriously free and has continued 
so, while Eugenie sits deprived of all power to dictate in the 
sacred rights of any human being there or elsewhere. 

After Napoleon's death, in 1873, Eugenie's hopes were bound 
up in the life of her son, " the Prince Imperial," who might, 
she hoped, some day restore the fallen empire. As his educa- 
tion was about completed, in 1879, the Zulu war broke out. His 
father, years before, in a dispatch had lauded the military spirit 
of the lad, and had spoken enthusiastically of him as having 
passed unflinchingly through his " baptism of fire " on the field, 
and the youth was ambitious to win military fame. His mother 
encouraged his desire, and application was made to the Duke of 
Cambridge for a position on the staff of Lord Raglan, the gen- 
eral commanding, which was at once refused as dangerous. The 
prince insisted upon going, even as a volunteer, and finally was 
permitted. Shortly after his arrival in Africa he and a little 
party of scouts were surprised by the Zulus, and the prince lost 
his life. This was the culmination of the misery of this un- 
happy woman. There was nothing left her but to go and seek 
the body of her son and bring it home to be buried beside 
Napoleon III. There they will remain, doubtless, as France is 
not likely to desire to restore their dust to her own soil, as she 
did in the case of the great Napoleon, to lay his body under the 
dome of the " Invalides " in Paris. 

Eugenie, alone in a foreign land with her dead, discrowned, 
widowed, and childless, is a sad but striking memorial of the 
penalty dealt out to the oppressors of Mexico, and may well 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 277 

rank with the retribution imposed upon t\e pontiff. These 
penalties were not inflicted by human hands. They are the 
judgments of God, and are a wonderful evidence of the truth of 
his own words, " Vengeance is mine ; I will repay, saith the 
Lord." 

Poor Maximilian and Carlota! The events that deprived 
the one of life and the other of reason oppress us in the con- 
templation of their calamitous magnitude, and all the more 
when we reflect that they sacrificed the substance for the 
shadow. Had they declined to do this wrong to Mexico and 
patiently waited, crown and throne and empire would all have 
been theirs if they had lived. Meanwhile they might have 
continued to enjoy what Madame Carette so justly describes as 
" the tranquil shades of that charming retreat on the borders of 
the Adriatic, where, at the foot of the Tyrolese mountains, they 
had delighted in constructing a fairy palace to shelter their 
happy and harmonious union." (P. 252.) The suicide of Ru- 
dolph, the only son of Francis Joseph, two years ago, would 
have left Maximilian and Carlota heirs to all the honors of the 
Austrian empire. But this too was sacrificed, as well as life 
and reason, by the course that was urged upon them so deter- 
minately by the pontiff and Louis Napoleon for their own pur- 
poses. No wonder the divine judgment fell so heavily, as we 
have seen, upon those who thus misled this young couple to 
their complete undoing, and that all alike shared in the terrible 
catastrophe which so completely overthrew papal despotism 
and saved constitutional freedom in the New World ! 

Our view of these providential retributions will close with a 
few words in regard to the Jesuits. This hateful society, whose 
machinations give the religious world no rest, prepared the 
plan which God reversed in Mexico. Standing back in the 
shadow, they work unseen day and night for their purposes. 
By the use of the confessional they can lay their hands on 
every secret of social and personal life in every family where 
they have a representative- of their religion. And as to politics 
and public men, no power in this world is so debasing as that 



278 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 



of Jesuitism. The attention of thoughtful men was intensely 
drawn to this prompt and overwhelming series of calamities 
which overthrew these parties. Seldom has the world witnessed 
a more manifest fulfillment of the utterance of inspiration, 
that " When thy judgments are abroad in the earth the inhab- 
itants of' the world learn righteousness," and that " There is a 
God that judgeth in the earth." 

In evidence of their frequent rejection of the order of Jesu- 
its by all the states of Christendom (and by heathen nations as 
well), which found their presence intolerable to their peace and 
order, let the following list bear witness. 

This society, founded by Ignatius Loyola, August 15, 1534, 
conditionally sanctioned by the bull of Pope Paul III., Septem- 
ber 25, 1540, unconditionally approved by him in 1543, has 
had a most troubled existence, and has in some way succeeded 
in winning a vast amount of ill-will of both rulers and people. 

For their crimes, intrigues, and conspiracies the Jesuits have been ban- 
ished from various countries again and again, as will be seen by the fol- 
lowing table, compiled from A Short Sketch of the Jesuits, also from the 
Encyclopedia of Chronology, by B. B. Woodward and William L. R. 
Cates, and from other trustworthy authorities. 



La Palinterre 

Vienna 

Avignon 

Antwerp, Portugal, etc. 

England 

England again 

England again 

England again 

Japan 

Hungary and Transylva- 
nia 

Bordeaux 

The whole of France 

Holland 

Touron and Berne 

England again 

England again 

Denmark, Venice, etc. . . 

Venice again 

Amura, Japan 

Bohemia 

Moravia 

Naples and Netherlands . 

China and India 

Turkey 

Abyssinia 

Malta 



1555 
1558 
1566 
1570 
1578 
1579 
1581 
1584 
1586 
1587 

1588 
1589 
1594 
1596 
1597 
1602 
1604 
1606 
1612 
1613 
1618 
1619 
1622 
1623 
1628 
1632 
1634 



JESUITS EXPELLED PROM 

Russia 1723 

Savoy 1724 

Paraguay 1733 

Portugal Sept. 3, 1759 

Prohibited in France 1762 

France again 1764 

Spain, colonies and Sici- 
lies, and Naples 1767 

Parma and Malta 1768 

All Christendom, by bull 

of Clement XIV., July 21, 1773 

Russia , 1776 

France again 1804 

Canton Orisons 1804 

Naples again 1810 

France again 1816 

Moscow, St. Petersburg, 

and Canton Soleure... 1816 

Belgium 1818 

Brest (by the people) . . . 1819 

Russia again 1820 

Spain again 1820 

Rouen Cathedral (by the 

people) 1825 

Belgium schools 1826 

France, 8 colleges closed. 1828 
G't Britain and Ireland. 1829 
France again 1831 



From entering Saxony. . 1831 

Portugal 1834 

Spain again 1835 

Rheims (by the people) . 1838 
From entering Lucerne. 1842 

Lucerne again 1845 

France again 1845 

Switzerland 1847 

Bavaria and Genoa 1848 

Papal States, by Pius IX., 
Sardinia, Vienna, Aus- 
tria 1848 

Several Italian states... 1859 

Sicily again 1860 

Spain again 1868 

Guatemala 1871 

Switzerland 1871 

German empire 1872 

Mexico (by the viceroy) . 1853 
Mexico (by Comonfort) t . 1856 
Mexico (by Congress) . . . 1873 

New Granada since 1879 

Venezuela 1879 

Argentine Republic 1879 

Hungary 1879 

Brazil 1879 

France again 1880 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 279 

The last report shows that there are 2,377 members of this 
order, 1,130 of them being in the United States, and a large 
portion of the remainder in England. 

These are the gentlemen, polite, plausible, and trained, the spies, the 
vassals, the sworn minions of a foreign despot, who, having been expelled 
from all Catholic countries again and again by popes, princes, and kings, 
both Catholic and Protestant, now swarm into England and America, and, 
under the protection which the influence of an open Bible gives to honest 
men, are proceeding to destroy the public schools, debauch the govern- 
ment, and work the mischief which has ever been their legitimate business. 

The clearance which Mexico made of all monastic orders was 
so complete that I once asked a Mexican gentleman if it was 
really necessary to be thus thorough and expel even the " Sis- 
ters of Charity." He promptly replied that the nation so re- 
garded it, adding : 

Do not mistake us. We are not opposed to religion, as such; far from 
it. But we have learned by bitter experience that the ultimate object of 
these confraternities and sisterhoods is not religion. Religion is only a 
means for reaching the ends which they aim at. Their object in being 
here is to work for the subjugation of our people to a foreign despotism 
that has its seat at Rome. We have suffered so much from this source 
that we want no more of them. 

Being in Mexico at the time of the final expulsion of the 
Jesuits (August, 1873), I naturally desired to witness the en- 
forced departure of the last band, and so went to the railroad 
station to see them off. No demonstration was made save by a 
few of their devotees, who went on their knees occasionally to 
receive their parting benediction. It looked rather theatrical 
and tire'some. On the morning after their departure there came 
out in the columns of El Monitor Hepublicano, one of the 
leading dailies of the city of Mexico, an article bearing the 
title " Adios Jesuitas ! " — " Jesuits, farewell ! " It contained a 
fearful arraignment of the miseries which this order of foreign- 
ers had inflicted upon Mexico during the years when their bane- 
ful influence was intruded into her social and public life ; how 
they had identified themselves remorselessly with the enemies 



280 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

of her freedom, and aided in sending some of her noblest and 
best to premature graves. 

The gist of the article, and of others which were published 
at the same time, may be thus expressed : " Jesuits, farewell ! 
In this hour of your departure we have sympathy and compas- 
sion, but that sympathy and compassion are not for you. We 
reserve both for the people among whom you will now fix your 
homes, and with whose religious, social, and civil life you will 
endeavor to tamper, as you have tampered with ours, with 
similar results of misery and distress. Jesuits, farewell ! " 
Thus Mexico, instead of being — as she was twenty-five years 
ago — the most priest-ridden country on earth, has worked her 
way up, by the help of God and the valor of her sons, to the 
position of the most free of all Roman Catholic lands, while her 
existing laws now sanction no monastery or nunnery, sisters of 
charity or Jesuits, within her bounds. 

In connection with the expulsion of the Jesuits a law was 
enacted by Congress to facilitate prompt action in any case of 
return. It was entitled " The Pernicious Foreigner's Act," 
and certainly was sufficiently offensive as a title. It was de- 
signed to save time, so that, without waiting for processes of 
law, the person could be met and promptly told to leave. Not 
only so, but all foreigners coming to reside in the country were 
required to appear before a magistrate and be duly registered, 
with name and abiding-place, so as to leave no loop-hole for un- 
desirable (or " pernicious ") people to remain. It became my 
duty as superintendent, as our missionaries arrived, to see this 
regulation complied with. Invariably the smile would pass 
round when we appeared, and the magistrate would courteously 
ask us to excuse the trouble which the act gave us, observing, 
" Of course, senor, the law is not meant for you missionaries. 
We have no anxiety about your coming in. But we have to 
act in a way that is impartial. Please excuse the trouble of 
this attendance here." They knew we did not, as law-abiding 
people, regard it as any hardship, and we were respected ac- 
cordingly. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 281 



CHAPTER X. 

The star on Orizava — Summary of what Mexico has gained — Her resources — Im- 
proved financial condition — Porfirio Diaz — Evangelical missions — Miss Ran- 
kin — Circus of Chiarini — Providential help — Purchase of Inquisition — Popu- 
lar vengeance — Buried martyrs — General Assembly — Statistics of Protestant- 
ism — Persecution — Interview with President Diaz — Santa Anna — Epitaph — 
Tomb of Juarez — Memorial services of the Emperor William — Madame Cal- 
deron's prophecy. 

On the 19th of February, 1873, an hour before daybreak, we 
stood on the deck of the steamer approaching Yera Cruz. The 
object of our gaze was the peak of Orizava, towering up in 
maj esty three miles and a half in height above sea-level (17,879 
feet). The cone, covered with its perpetual snow, shone in the 
azure vault of heaven, above all obscurity of mists or vapors, 
recalling the glowing lines : 

" As some tall cliff erects its awful form, 
Springs from the vale and midway meets the storm, 
Though round its base the rolling clouds are spread, 
Eternal sunshine settles on its head." 

At that time Orizava's majesty was farther glorified by the 
brilliant morning star resting on its brow, radiant light en- 
throned on spotless purity ! We gazed in rapt attention until 

the star 

"Melted away into the light of heaven " 

and the early rays of the sun gilded the mountain's summit. 
Never can that vision be forgotten. Often have we dwelt upon 
it, accepting it as an omen for good of that coming hour when 
the smile of Him who is " the bright and morning star " shall 
rest on the heart of redeemed Mexico. 

We stand at last amid the gkrand results for which Mexico 
has so long struggled and suffered. Let us look at some of the 



282 MEXICO W TRANSITION. 

evidences of her wonderful progress since 1857. The fruits of 
her victories over civil and religious despotism have been thus 
summarized by outsiders, who rejoice with her in the victories 
which she has won : 

1. They have firmly established a free Constitution, embodying those 
essential guarantees of liberty which we Anglo-Saxons regard as funda- 
mental, including an entire divorce of Church and State. 

2. They have secularized the vast and ill-gotten estates of the Church, 
from the revenues of which it was always able to pay a mercenary soldiery 
in the interest of despotism, and by which it virtually controlled the 
country and kept it deluged in blood. 

3. They have placed on an enduring basis the rights of free speech, a 
free press, speedy public trials, and, above all, liberty of conscience in re- 
ligious worship, and are establishing universal suffrage and trial by jury. 

4. They have in operation, and are steadily extending, a system of 
primary schools, which could never have been done while the priestly 
tyranny continued. 

5. Already the fruits of these beneficent victories are visible in the press 
of the country, and are expanding literature in the growth of education 
among the youth. In another and grander aspect the change is so remark- 
able that a volume might well be devoted to its discussion. This is the 
great religious awakening, standing perhaps without a parallel in this 
century. From small beginnings, in 1846-47, the sacred Scriptures have 
been finding their way to Mexican homes, till their circulation has become 
openly and remarkably rapid. Already thousands of her people have 
wholly abandoned the old religion in which they were born and organ- 
ized themselves into evangelical Churches, in harmony with the leading 
Churches of the United States, and taking the Bible only as their rule of 
faith. They have spiritual leaders of their own race and language. Their 
influence is rapidly extending by means of the pulpit, religious societies, 
and the press.* 

In the presence of such results, wrought out by the endurance 
and heroism of such a people, how just and appropriate is the 
conclusion of .Dr. Ellinwood at the close of his address before 
the General Assembly ! He says : 

I have marked the struggle of the Mexican people for their independence 
in order to meet the flippant talk which we sometimes hear about annex- 
ing their country to the United States. I have wished to show that men 

* Putnam's Magazine, July, 1870. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 283 

whom the armies of Europe could not compel to accept even the most 
amiable of rulers, men who could carry the life and soul of their republic 
with them, though driven all over their domain, are not of a class to be 
handed over easily to a neighboring power, exchanging their independ- 
ence for a few railroad lines and a little commerce. 

We would not attempt to annex Mexico, but would rather take a gener- 
ous pride in her independence, while by every means we extend our aid 
in securing for her all the blessings of Christian enlightenment which we 
enjoy. But chiefly it is my desire to emphasize those wonderful provi- 
dences which have wrought out her religious liberty. 

Those who have examined her unique and magnificent re- 
sources are well aware that Mexico is worthy of the progress at 
which she aims. Baron Humboldt's testimony, after his full 
and scientific inspection, has been justified by all subsequent 
discoveries and experience. He wrote : " This vast empire, 
under careful cultivation, would alone produce all that commerce 
collects together from the rest of the globe." Her scientists to- 
day assert " that there is not a mineral known except cryolite 
that is not found in Mexico." Her very formation wonderfully 
favors her wealth, the railways on both sides concentrate the 
productions from the tropics with those of the temperate belt, 
and bring them to the mart of the capital. 

Here is a partial list of her products which she exports: 
Cereals and fruits, sugar, rice, cotton, tobacco, dyewoods, coffee, 
indigo, cocoa, cocoanuts, India rubber, vanilla, chili, cochineal, 
mahogany, rosewood, ebony, lemons, limes, pine-apples, jalap, 
salts, vegetable waxes, medicinal gums, cinchona bark, 
anise-seed, Sisal hemp, madder, ramil, hennequin, dyes, nuts, 
oils of commerce and for the table, and, in fine, every variety 
of produce known in the temperate and torrid zones. Her 
wheat is regarded as almost the finest in the world, next to that 
of Egypt ; Indian corn, maize, and barley are of excellent qual- 
ity, and one of her specialties is the bean, of all kinds and colors, 
from black to white. The beautiful marble or onyx from 
Puebla is coming into great use for clocks and different orna- 
ments. 

In return she wants our petroleum, clocks, and watches, quick- 



284 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

silver, lamps, and gas-fixtures, silks, woolen goods, hardware, 
printing-presses and type, books, paper, rails, locomotives, 
tools, machinery of all kinds, well-boring apparatus and pumps, 
canned meats and preserves, scientific instruments, pianos and 
organs, educational appliances, plated-ware and cutlery, tele- 
graph wire, agricultural machinery of all sorts, railroad carriages 
for passengers and freight, maps, globes, and charts, mining 
fuses, seeds and plants, slates, lithograph-stones, and a hundred 
other articles which she does not produce but constantly re- 
quires, and for which she is now paying the highest prices, in 
addition to the cost of four thousand miles of freight charges, 
to English and German importers. 

At the close of Maximilian's empire Mexico had but one 
railroad, with 260 miles of track. To-day she has them running 
in all directions (see the map), with an average of 10,025 kilom- 
eters (about 6,300 miles), and is building more. Of telegraph 
lines in 1867 she had but a few short connections, under 3,000 
kilometers ; now she has telephone and telegraph lines which 
aggregate between 60,000 and 70,000 kilometers. So satisfied 
was General Grant, after thorough examination, of Mexico's 
coming prosperity that he stated to her government that subsi- 
dies for the building of her railroads might soon cease entirely, 
and the lines be built relying on the trade they would develop 
for their support. That hour has now come, and his confidence 
in the prosperity of Mexico is fully justified. 

In his last message to Congress (1891) President Diaz said : 

It is gratifying to me to be able to inform Congress that the financial 
situation of the republic continues to improve. The receipts of the treas- 
ury during the past fiscal year exceeded $36,000,000, the receipts from 
the frontier and maritime custom-houses reaching $24,000,000. This 
shows the magnificent impulse that mercantile traffic has received, since, 
without increasing the tariff, the custom-houses now collect $9,000,000 
more than they did four years ago. 

Of the nation's credit, once so low, he said : 

The loan of £6,000,000 sterling was issued September 9 in Europe, and 
taken many times over. The banks having the subscriptions in charge 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 285 

had to close their registers almost immediately without giving the general 
public a chance to subscribe. 

The revenues of the republic have more than doubled in the 
past twenty years. In 1870 they were $16,000,000 ; they are 
estimated now at over $36,000,000. Reviewing Adolf o Sa- 
lina's valuable work, Mexico and Tier Riches, the reviewer 

says: 

The figures should prove of great interest not only to those who are 
actively engaged in Mexican trade, but also to all who wish well to Mex- 
ico. They are conclusive on two points, namely : (1) The volume of Mex- 
ican exports since 1872 has largely increased year by year, being twice 
as much in the fiscal year 1889-90 as in 1879-80. (2) The major part, 
over two thirds, in fact, of the exports go to the United States. The last- 
named country received during the fiscal year 1889-90 three times the 
quantity of exports from Mexico that it did in the year 1879-80. These 
facts show that Mexican trade with the United States increases more 
rapidly than it does with any other country. This is not to be wondered 
at, seeing that Mexico and the United States adjoin, and that each coun- 
try has products which the other requires and does not produce. Each 
country is, in fact, the complement of the other, and both together produce 
all known products. 

The spread of education, the extension of the railway system, 
the increase of industries under the protection of an enlight- 
ened government, with the increasing consciousness of the rights 
and duties of civil and religious freedom, are fast bringing the 
country to the orderly and peaceful development of her great 
resources. 

From a table showing the exports from Mexico to the United 
States and the total exports to all countries, we select the ex- 
hibit of every fifth year since she entered upon the control of 
her own circumstances, and have this grand result : 

Yeabs Exports to the Total Mex- 

United States. ican Exports. 

1872-73 $11,367,859 $31,594,000 

1877-78 12,340,689 29,285,000 

1882-83 16,739,097 41,807,000 

1887-88 31,059,626 48,885,000 

1889-90 43,022,440 63,276,395 



286 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

MEXICAN IMPORTS, 1888-89. 

From the United States $22,669,420 71 

" England $6,337,980 30 

" France 4,956,568 41 

" Germany 2,842,932 35 

" other countries 3,217,992 55— 17,355,473 61 

$40,024,894 32 
Of the above, free-list imports during 1888-89 amounted 

in value to $13,506,230 23 

Giving as dutiable imports during 1888-89, in value .. . 26,518,664 09 

' $40,024,894 32 

MEXICAN DEBT, JCNE 30, 1890. 

Mexican foreign debt $52,500,000 00 

" domestic debt, consolidated under laws of 1883 

and 1885 23,052,550 00 

" indebtedness represented by certificates 2,906,076 32 

$78,458,626 32 

The remarkable man now honored by his fellow-citizens by 
a third presidential term demands our attention at this point. 
Porfirio Diaz (see portrait opposite) was born in the State of 
Oaxaca, in 1830. His intercourse with Juarez in his early 
manhood inspired him with the ardent patriotism of that great 
reformer, and he began his efforts for the freedom of the coun- 
try by resisting Santa Anna's despotic measures in 1854. Dur- 
ing the succeeding years of conflict his valor won his advance 
to the highest position in the army, and at the overthrow of 
Lerdo, in 1876, he was elected to the presidency. In 1880 
he relinquished the office to General Gonzales, and for a short 
time served as minister of public works, carrying out many 
excellent reforms. Resigning his position in 1883, he made 
an extended tour through the United States, where he was 
received with great cordiality. In 1884 he was again elected 
president, and in 1888, so rapid had been the advancement of 
the country under his rule, the amendment to the Consti- 
tution, advanced by Diaz himself in 1878, against re-election 




GENERAL PORFIRIO DIAZ, 

Mexico's brave soldier and honored president. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 287 

was changed, in order to keep this exceptional statesman at the 
head of the nation. The term now drawing to a close has been 
one of great prosperity. The commerce of the country is rapidly 
extending; the credit of the nation has risen until now they 
can borrow money in any market; the public debt has been 
reduced, railways have been built, and all classes are enjoying 
the benefits of justice and peace. 

As we write popular demonstrations are being made in favor 
of another term. Certainly no other man in Mexico shows 
such ability as General Diaz, and the universal respect paid 
him by foreign residents, as well as by Mexicans, testifies to his 
impartial and just dealings. During his administration all 
forms of worship have been protected. While carrying out the 
laws for freedom of opinion he has been justly severe with 
those who interfered with the rights of others, and this may 
have caused some opposition to him among fanatical people. 
Mrs. Diaz is a daughter of Manuel Romero Rubio, a prominent 
lawyer of the capital, and is very active in charitable work and 
much esteemed. 

The present prosperity of Mexico is very largely due to 
the efforts and incorruptible character of her noble president, 
Porfirio Diaz. A recent biography written by Hubert Howe 
Bancroft, gives an excellent view of the life of General Diaz 
and of his association with Benito Juarez. To this we refer 
our readers who wish to know more of the subject. 

The incoming and results of evangelical missions in Mexico, 
consequent upon the establishment of religious freedom, will 
now, in closing this record, claim our attention, as the highest 
aspect of that happy transition which has crowned all the efforts 
and sufferings of the past forty years. 

That devout Christian woman, Miss Melinda Rankin, who 
shortly after 1850 established herself in Brownsville, Texas, 
and employed colporteurs to sell and distribute copies of the 
Scriptures in the Spanish, was the providential agent to open 
the way for the Bible into northern Mexico. For twenty years 
she prayed and toiled and suffered. The bigoted priests tried 



288 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

to meet her work at every point, while again and again the sad 
story of the destruction of the sacred volumes was borne back 
to her by the faithful agents who often risked their lives in 
their work. Little congregations grew out of this Bible work, 
and her helpers were enabled to go farther into Mexico ; the 
work in the city of Zacatecas being started by these, and at Cos 
also, where they were aided by a Christian physician from the 
United States located there. The long strain of this service 
began to tell on Miss Rankin's strength, and after her sister's 
death and her own severe attack of yellow fever she realized 
the need of stronger hands to lift the burden, which by its very 
success had grown so heavy. It needed also regularly ordained 
workers to organize the churches and administer the sacra- 
ments, in order that an evangelical form of worship might 
extend through the country. Therefore, after due deliberation 
she made over the results of her labors to the American Board 
of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. She published a book 
giving some of her experiences, entitled Twenty Years Among 
the Mexicans, and from her home in Bloomington, 111., she 
went, as much as her strength would permit, to visit the 
churches, interesting the people in the cause of the Gospel in 
Mexico. On the 7th of December, 1888, she passed to her 
reward, leaving a name that will always be associated with the 
earliest efforts for the redemption of Mexico. 

Toward the close of Miss Rankin's service the American and 
Foreign Christian Union was led to institute a union move- 
ment in Mexico city, but after a trial of this method the work 
was found to be more in the line of promoting the services of 
one denomination than the contributors desired, and also bore 
a somewhat exclusive aspect. Therefore, at the close of 1872, 
a conclusion was reached to discontinue this union effort and 
allow each Church to go in and do what it could in the use of 
its own forms to enlarge the work. Success has amply justi- 
fied the change, and, as we shall see in our closing pages, far 
more has been accomplished in behalf of Mexico than by the 
methods of any professedly undenominational plan. 



MEXICO IX TRANSITION. 289 

The writer was appointed by Bishop Simpson in November, 
1872, to proceed to Mexico and establish a mission there for 
our denomination. "We reached the city of Mexico on the 
23d of February, 1873, and for three weeks had the help of 
Bishop Haven's presence and advice in acquiring property at 
the capital and at Puebla. A reference or two at this point will 
illustrate the amazing changes that had occurred, and in what 
an extraordinary manner divine Providence was leading the lib- 
erty party in Mexico to open the way for Christian missions. 
The first necessity of the hour was to find suitable places, in the 
right locality, for the work to be done and to secure them, es- 
caping all the risks of false titles, extravagant prices, and the 
wicked interferences of Jesuitical enemies, who toiled day and 
night to get between us and the available property and thus 
defeat our purpose. 

Secularized church property, particularly the convents, 
were in demand in suitable localities. Two of these which fell 
to our share may be referred to briefly as being in themselves 
most uncommon purchases for Protestant missions. These im- 
mense establishments were generally structures of the most 
enduring character, adapted for a scenic worship, but usually 
gloomy, with windows fifteen or more feet from the ground, 
beneath which hung great pictures. The light and airy ap- 
pearance of Protestant places of worship was absent, and great 
expense was necessary to adapt them to our purposes, especially 
where the walls were so thick and solid. 

One of these properties which we secured was part of the 
monastery of San Francisco, as we described elsewhere. It 
had been sold to a theater company, which had failed, because 
the ladies expected to attend, much as they liked the per- 
formances, regarded it as somewhat sacrilegious to have them 
in a building once consecrated to religious uses. The Chiarini 
Circus company shared the same fate for the same reasons. So 
closely were the missionaries watched to prevent them from 
acquiring property that, when any one of lis was seen looking 
at a desirable place, before it could be decided upon it was 



290 MEXICO IX TRANSITION". 

"out of the market." Hearing that the Chiarini Circus was 
for sale, I was eager to see if it could be adapted for our use. 
Not daring to go near it in the day-time, for fear of being seen 
and losing the chance, I waited until ten o'clock at night, then 
went and knocked at the great door. The sleepy janitor opened 
the portal a little way only, and was reluctant to admit any one 
at such an hour. However, a silver dollar proved quite persua- 
sive to compensate him for his interrupted sleep, and upon my 
saying that I only wanted to see what the circus of Chiarini 
was like the drowsy creature woke up to considerable willing- 
ness and by the light of his lantern showed me the premises. 

To my great satisfaction I found the property just what we 
required, and at once made earnest efforts to secure it. But I 
learned that one of the parties whose signature was necessary 
was a fanatical old lady who would rather see the building 
go up in smoke than sold to Protestants. "What to do I could 
not imagine. "We needed the place so much, the location was 
admirable, central yet quiet, and our work, already begun, was 
suffering for lack of a proper center of operations. But here 
was delay and uncertainty. We could only seek divine help 
and wait. Three weeks later I was standing at a street corner, 
conversing with a friend, when a gentleman passed on the other 
side of the street. My friend signaled, the stranger crossed 
over, and we were introduced. During the conversation India 
was mentioned. " "What ! " said I, " have you been in India ? " 
" Yes ; I fought under Havelock, and was one of the volun- 
teer cavalry that rode with him into Lucknow." Instantly 
it flashed across my mind that here was help at last if I could 
win him ! " "Well," I replied, " I have done my best to immor- 
talize you and your gallant comrades." " "What do you mean ? " 
said he. Asking him to remain where we were for a few min- 
utes, I hurried to the hotel and took a copy of The Land 
of the Veda, which I carried back and showed to him, opened at 
the portrait of General Havelock. He looked at it astonished, 
and said, " That is indeed our illustrious commander," and 
commenced at once to read the pages that refer to the bravery 




HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE MISSION OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 

Calle de Gante, City of Mexico. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 291 

of the heroes, led by their devout general. I stood prayerfully 
and anxiously waiting. Finally, turning to me he said, " How 
much I would like to possess this book ! " " Please, sir, then, 
accept it as a gift from the author." Thanking me with genu- 
ine heartiness he exclaimed, "Is there not something I could 
do for you to show my gratitude ? " I had learned that he was 
an Irishman and a Catholic, but Providence led me to feel that 
he could and would help me, so I replied, " You are probably 
the only man in this city who can do something very necessary 
for me." " What is it ? " I explained the circumstances, how we 
were anxious to secure a suitable property for our work, but that 
the bigoted old lady would not be willing to sell it to us, and 
I feared to trust any broker in the city lest they should be in- 
duced to fail us. He asked, " Would you trust me f " I felt free 
to say I would. " Have you the money % " Yes ; the money was 
ready in the bank. " Well, say nothing until I come to you to- 
morrow morning, and I will arrange it all for you." I reminded 
him that I was a Protestant missionary and that he was a Catho- 
lic, but he said, "What of that? Have five hundred dollars 
ready for me to-morrow." He came the next day, took the 
money, paid the installment, and obtained his receipt. The 
property was his and all secure. As soon as the papers in the 
case were ready he took me to the government office and made 
out a deed to me as agent of the missionary society of our 
Church, and the circus of Chiarini was ours! He had mean- 
while, when his purpose leaked out, an enticing offer to be 
unfaithful to us, but he spurned the temptation and in due 
time and form made it over to us. 

Surely " the hearts of all men are in the hands of God," and 
he has his own way of answering the prayers of those who seek 
his aid. Here, when I needed it so much, after all my anxiety, 
was this warm-hearted Irishman brought in good time twelve 
thousand miles across the world, attracted to me by a common 
interest which that " Land of the Yeda " represented to us both, 
ready to do a service that I could not safely ask any lawyer 01 
broker or other Romanist to do in the city of Mexico ! 



292 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

One of the clerical papers came out a few clays after with the 
following note, under the title, " Each Time Worse : " 

It is said that the Protestants have purchased the Chiarini Circus. As 
is known, this place is formed out of a patio of the monastery of San Fran- 
cisco. O, venerated shades of Belaunzaran and Pinzon! You will 
wander lamenting around that place which was sanctified by the presence 
of the sons of San Francisco, and which is profanated in a descending 
scale, by rope-dancing, immoral shows, licentious balls, and the ceremo- 
nies of a dissenting sect which is the enemy of the Church. It is a real 
profanation, but it cannot be remedied, for power protects the profana- 
tors. 

Preceding page 291 is a view of the newly erected facade 
of this church. The beautiful interior will be shown farther 
on. It increased our interest to discover, as we did, from the 
pages of the Jesuit historian Clavijero, that these premises 
were part of the very site of the famous palace of Monte- 
zuma.* Afterward in relaying the floor we found confirma- 
tion of this fact near the front door by discovering one of the 
fish fountains which Clavijero describes. Could Montezuma 
and his historian rise from the dead how amazed would they 
be to witness the transformation that has taken place ! Here, 
in place of the pagan palace and the Romish convent, there 
stands to-day the beautiful evangelical church, complete in all 
its appointments, with chapel, vestries, printing-office, schools, 
besides two comfortable parsonages and other accommodations 
for this work. Mexico has had many "transitions" during 
the past twenty-five years, but none more wonderful than that 
which we witness here. 

Equally remarkable was our purchase of the property se- 
cured for our work in the city of Puebla. While Mexico city 
is the political capital, Puebla may be considered as the ecclesi- 
astical capital of the country. A branch of the Inquisition 
of Rome had been established in each city with equal powers. 
No Protestantism existed then in either city or in either 

* Ancient History of Mexico, by Abbe D. F. S. Clavijero, book v, p. 213. London, 
1810. 




THE INQUISITION, CITY OF PtTEBLA, 

Purchased by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 18*73. 




COVERED WAY OF THE INQUISITION, 

Connecting with the Examining Chapel. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 293 

section of the country for this diabolical institution to expend its 
energy upon, during the first three hundred years of its exist- 
ence. Its watch-care then was directed toward its own people, 
and evidently extended to more than questions of religious 
opinion, thus enabling the priesthood to lay a heavy hand upon 
those who dared to make themselves prominent in the advocacy 
of civil and religious freedom. But these inquisitors had such 
ability to cover their tracks that the whole truth can never 
be known until the books are opened in the judgment-day ! 
We are about to uncover dark transactions which "that day" 
will fully reveal, when the sightless eyeballs and the dumb lips 
on which we have gazed with horror shall open, and the truth 
of their tortures shall be brought before those who thus in- 
flicted them ! 

We present two views of the Inquisition building in Puebla. 
The photograph was taken from the roof of , one of the corridors. 
On the left hand appears. the dome of the Examining Chapel, 
where the victims were tried, and beneath, on the ground floor, 
were the cells, which we must soon mention. The second pict- 
ure shows the covered way leading to the Inquisition over the 
tops of the houses. The face of it remains open as it was left 
when the government cut a street through the premises. Cer- 
tainly those who erected these buildings, with walls of masonry 
some of them over six feet thick, and arches and trimmings of 
cut stone, expected that they would endure for all time. In 
some of the changes necessary to adapt them to our use crow- 
bar and pickax seemed weak tools to make any impression upon 
their hardness. These immense premises of the Dominican 
monks (the 'Inquisitorial order) fell at last into the hands of the 
republican forces, and the people, especially those from whose 
homes father, brothers, or sons had disappeared, and of whose 
fate something might be learned within those walls, demanded 
permission to search, as did the Parisians at the Bastile. The 
request was granted and the excited searchers went through the 
whole establishment from the ground to the roofs ; a few sur- 
vivors were found, but the majority of seekers were disap- 



294 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

pointed. Baffled and enraged, they were about to leave when 
some one remarked on the amazing thickness of the walls. A 
new train of thought was started. The walls were struck and 
at places seemed to sound hollow to the blow. Tools were pro- 
cured, openings made, and within narrow cells were found those 
whom tliey sought, manacled and ghastly, not arrayed in grave 
vestments, but in their daily clothing, as when last seen. Twelve 
such cells were found and opened, each with its occupant. Truly 
this was "bringing to light the hidden things of darkness." 
These victims of Rome's cruelties, buried alive for freedom, or 
for Christ, or both, it may be, were tenderly lifted out into 
the open patio and a photographer called. A flower-stand was 
near, and four of the martyrs who were recent enough to be 
handled without breaking up, though not recognizable, were 
placed against it, and the sun has painted for us the faithful and 
enduring proof which the Liberals of Mexico can hand down in 
evidence to future generations of what the Church of Rome 
did with their fellow-countrymen. From one of these photo- 
graphs in our possession the picture opposite was copied. 

The cells were four feet six inches on the square, and seven 
feet high. The need for the thick walls was thus explained. 
These spaces were left open when building until the victim 
was condemned and bound in the Examining Chapel above, and 
brought down to the corridor where the cells were located. 
He or she (for women were among the number) was placed in 
the cell, a "brother" of the order who was handy with the 
trowel was ready to build up the entrance before their face and 
leave them to a horrible death, while a coat of plaster and 
whitewash made all invisible, and these fiends in human form 
may have supposed that they had sealed up their crime forever 
and buried their secret beyond discovery. Two bodies of such 
sufferers may still be seen in a glass case in the National Mu- 
seum in Mexico city. 

One cell, making the thirteenth, was overlooked and not 
opened until we came into the possession of the premises. "We 
found it occupied and had the body removed and buried. Like 




MARTYRS OF THE INQUISITION, 

Taken out of the cells in the walls, where they were buried alive. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 295 

the other large ecclesiastical properties, this had been divided 
into lots for sale, and a street cut through the premises. A Ger- 
man Jew, living in Puebla, bought this portion of the Inquisi- 
tion. When we came to Puebla to look for property, such even 
then was the clerical influence that people were timid about 
renting or selling to us. With the Jew it was different. Pie 
cared nothing about their fulminations, and was eager to make 
a trade with us. Both in India and in Mexico I have made all 
sorts of purchases for our society, but when we stood beside 
this man on the dais of the Examining Chapel in Puebla, and 
realized that a Jew was actually offering the Inquisition for 
sale to a Methodist preacher, this seemed about the most extraor- 
dinary transaction in real estate which we had ever known ! 
To have purchased the great cathedral itself would not have 
been more amazing. Around us were the evidences of the 
popular vengeance that had been wreaked upon the accursed 
building ; the doors, windows, and floors had been torn up and 
smashed to pieces, and the plaster defaced. But all this could 
soon be repaired. On the upper floor to the right was a suite 
of rooms which would make a comfortable parsonage, and on 
the left the Examining Chapel could be made into the first 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Puebla. It was capable of hold- 
ing about one hundred and fifty people. On the floor below a 
room as large as the chapel would give us a good school-room, and 
the apartments and corridors to the right would afford accommo- 
dation for the boys' orphanage and a theological seminary. We 
were thus — at least for the time being — amply provided for in 
the work which our Church was to undertake in Puebla. 

It was while engaged, a few months later, in laying out the 
rooms on the ground floor for a theological seminary that we 
made that additional discovery of those dead secrets which 
have ever since been such a perplexing remembrance to us. 
The leading impression produced has been that they represent 
" deeds of darkness " that certainly double the guilt and cruelty 
which we already know to be justly chargeable to the account 
of this horrible institution. In front of the rooms where the 



296 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

cells were there runs a covered corridor with outside pillars, 
about twelve feet wide. Our purpose then was to divide this 
space by a wall into two rooms. Having indicated where the 
foundation was to be laid, we left the spot, but were soon after 
met with the startling announcement that the workmen in dig- 
ging had r come upon a number of human skeletons packed to- 
gether in rows. They were about two and a half feet below 
the surface, covered with earth, and over this a layer of mortar 
in which large floor-bricks were firmly laid. They were packed 
close together and occupied about two feet in depth, the trench 
running the entire length of the corridor. They were lifted out 
into the jpatio, and the mayor of the city notified to send the 
municipal carts and grant them proper burial. 

People were annoyed that Protestant strangers should make 
such a dreadful discovery. They thought that they knew all 
the horrors of that establishment and had removed them. We 
discussed the situation, but could find no innocent cause for their 
being there and in such condition. They were not more than 
twelve feet in front of the martyrs' cells, all under cover of the 
roof, with less than thirty inches of earth over them, and the 
mortar and floor-brick resting on this shallow protection, the 
whole bearing the aspect of utter secrecy. As a probable 
explanation it was suggested that at certain intervals, when the 
cells were full, the floor would be opened and the contents of 
the cells emptied into the space made, and then closed up like 
the rest, leaving the cells ready for new occupants. The one 
fact seems to bear, a relation to the other in guilt and secrecy, 
but of the character of the manacled martyrs of the cells there 
is no doubt whatever. 

It is with much concern that we are contemplating parting 
with this locality ; but, notwithstanding all its interest, the place 
has become too small for our growing work in Puebla. We 
have secured a large lot in the best part of the city and are 
erecting a church adequate for our congregation. These inci- 
dents will suffice until we come to the close to speak of the work 
done by all the missions operating in the land. 




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What an utter failure those Dominican and Franciscan 
monks were ! After their three hundred years of power the 
conquered race expels them from Hew Spain, and some of 
their palatial abodes, wrested from the hands of pagan royalty 
for their endowment, pass into the hands of heretics, who there 
proclaim the word of life under the ample protection of Mex- 
ican law. Had they done their work as God willed it to be done 
their time would have endured forever, and our services would 
not have been required. They failed to elevate Mexico, but 
made her a land of ignorance, unrest, and misery, from the 
galling yoke of which she could only shake herself free by one 
of the most extraordinary revolutions known to history, carried 
through by the very people they had trained in their faith and 
usages. 

The advance which our own Mission has made under the 
divine blessing is indicated in the picture opposite of our An- 
nual Conference of 1888. Eighteen of the ministers therein are 
native Mexicans, most of them raised up and trained under our 
own labors during the preceding fifteen years. 

The entrance of Protestant missions into Mexico and their 
progress since the close of the French Intervention has claimed 
the attention not only of the public journals but also of the 
government, and is frequently referred to with approbation. 
There lies before us as we write the Official Report of the Prog- 
ress of Protestant Missions in Mexico, by the government sec- 
retary of finance, dated January, 1879, in which the facts are 
given with entire fairness. This public and kindly notice of 
the Protestant propaganda in their country is given not because 
of any personal interest in our views, but because the facts fur- 
nish the most satisfactory evidence of the full religious freedom 
and progress which their country is now enjoying side by side 
with the United States. Any violation of these rights is 
denounced in the most prompt and decided manner by all save 
the fanatical faction who are under the inspiration of the Romish 
clergy, and all wrongs under it are quickly redressed on appeal 

for the protection of the rights of ourselves and our people. 
23 



298 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

As these missions stand for the highest progress which Mex- 
ico can ever know, the desire for the meeting of a General 
Assembly of Evangelical Missions began to take form about 
1886. The purpose was 

To review the results of the past fifteen years and to consult with each 
other in regard to the future of their common work. A committee, with 
power, was agreed upon to call this assembly from all parts of the land, 
and to take such measures as, in their judgment, would best accomplish 
the purposes of such a gathering. A suitable circular was prepared and 
sent to every missionary in the country to be filled up with replies to the 
questions which would bring together the information desired to be laid 
before the assembly. 

After nine years of absence from the termination of my own 
work in Mexico (in 1879) I naturally desired to be present on 
this occasion, as well as to have the opportunity of collecting 
the information which was needed for writing this work. Five 
months of delightful privilege was thus improved, especially in 
witnessing the advance made by the country during the period 
from 1879 to 1888. From all quarters of Mexico these serv- 
ants of God, American and Mexican, came to represent the 
work in which they were engaged for their common Lord and 
Master. 

On the morning of January 31, 1888, this remarkable body of Christian 
men and women assembled in Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church in the 
city of Mexico, the largest Protestant church in the city. It was found 
that there were eleven evangelical denominations represented, as follows : 
The Baptists, North and South; the Friends; the Presbyterians, North 
and South; the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; the Episcopalians; 
the Associate Reformed Presbyterians ; the Congregationalists ; the Cum- 
berland Presbyterians, and the Methodist Episcopal Church. The repre- 
sentation was from one to nine, according to the size of the missions 
operating in Mexico. Including two for the Bible Society, the total 
representation consisted of about seventy-five persons. These, with other 
missionaries and native ministers, who came as visitors, swelled the num- 
ber attending to about one hundred and twenty-five. Deeply interested 
audiences, from three hundred to four hundred in number, were present 
at the sessions, mornings, afternoons, and evenings. It was the first oc- 
casion on which these evangelical workers had ever come together. Few 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 299 

of them had before met one another, and yet the meetings, lasting more 
than three days, were undisturbed in their delightful harmony. 

It may not be too much to say that in view of the past history of this 
land, the interests involved, and the future which was intimated, this 
General Assembly was the most important event that has occurred here 
since the Laws of Reform were passed by the new-born nation. It pre- 
sented before the people of this country and before the Church of Rome 
the blessed evidence of the union, affection, and the strength of evan- 
gelical Christianity in a way that must have astonished them. Cer- 
tainly, if there really was (as was supposed by many) any treasonable 
purpose of the Reactionary party to employ the opportunity of December 
12, 1887, in connection with the crowning of the Virgin of Guadalupe, 
to overthrow the civil and religious liberties of this nation, that party 
found a surprise of which they never dreamed, and one which they can- 
not soon forget. How like it seems to a direct answer of the Almighty 
to the enemies of his cause — giving them to understand that he has taken 
Mexico out of their hands and is to accomplish her redemption after her 
long night of sorrow ! 

The programme was carried out almost to the letter, and a wonderful 
unanimity realized in the conclusions reached upon each item by the 
Assembly. These " watchmen saw eye to eye." 

"We have not space for an outline of the deliberations or of 
the work accomplished except under one head, that of the 
statistics. Many Romanists came in to see the Assembly, and 
it was evident that they were surprised at the order and 
thoroughness of the deliberations and the size and attention of 
the audiences. They must have realized that their methods of 
contempt and persecution could not frighten these people from 
their convictions, and that the intelligent and sincere aspect of 
their countrymen who had become preachers and members 
of these Protestant Churches had some claim upon their re- 
spect. 

Great interest was excited by the reading of the report of 
" The Statistics of Protestantism in Mexico." The utmost care 
had been taken to have the exhibit as accurate as possible. The 
forms which were supplied were of the fullest and most exact 
character. Each mission filled out its own forms, and then 
the whole was carefully tabulated, so that every item of every 



300 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

mission in Mexico was fully presented from its own records. I 
have resubmitted these statistical tables again to each of the 
missions represented, requesting them to correct and add to 
their figures the growth of the past four years, so as to pre- 
sent the numerical standing of Protestantism in Mexico at the 
close of 1891. The tables are too voluminous to be given in 
full for each mission. It may be enough to present the results 
in two columns, the first showing the grand total of the eleven 
Protestant missions in Mexico, and the second the statis- 
tics of the missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church by 
themselves *alone. 'No one who has prayed and contributed 
for the spread of the Gospel in this land but must rejoice over 
"what God has wrought" during the past twenty years in 
Mexico. If such a glorious result has been reached in twenty 
years, in the face of vigorous opposition and fanaticism, what 
may we not expect in the future as a result of the work now 
so well established under the ample protection of the law of 
the land? 

ABSTRACT FROM THE REPORT OP THE STATISTICS OP PROTESTANT MIS- 
SIONS IN MEXICO, 1888 (REVISED TO 1892). 

Total of Methodist 

Protestant Episcopal 

I. The Field. Missions. Missions. 

Number of centers of operation 87 30 

Number of congregations 469 125 

II. The Workers. 

Number of ordained foreign missionaries 59 9 

Number of assistant foreign missionaries (that is, unordained 

men, and wives of ordained and assistant missionaries). ... 51 9 

Number of foreign lady teachers 61 9 

Whole number of foreign workers 177 27 

Number of native preachers, ordained Ill 13 

Number of native preachers, unordained. ... I 161 38 

Number of native teachers 177 47 

Number of other native helpers 63 45 

Total number of native workers 512 143 

Grand total of foreign and native workers 689 170 

III. The Churches. 

Number of churches organized 385 100 

Number of communicants 16,250 2,665 

Number of probable adherents 49,512 6,735 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 301 



ABSTRACT FROM REPORT — CONTINUED. 

Total of Methodist 

ttt T<7 „ C,7,„„7„ Protestant Episcopal 

IV. Hie SCHOOLS. Missions. Missions. 

Number of training and theological schools 7 1 

Number of students in same 88 5 

Number of boarding-schools and orphanages 23 4 

Number of pupils in same 715 125 

Number of common schools 164 49 

Number of pupils in same 6,533 2,703 

Total number under instruction , . 7,336 2,833 

Number of Sunday-schools 347 45 

Number of Sunday-school teachers and officers 694 90 

Number of Sunday-school scholars 9,814 1,797 

Total membership of Sunday-schools 10,508 1,887 

V. Publishing Interests. 

Number of publishing-houses 5 1 

Number of papers issued 11 3 

Pages of all kinds of religious literature issued since 

the establishment of your press 75,197,885 35,197,885 

VI. Properties. 

Number of church buildings 118 23 

Approximate value of same (including furniture) $391,675 $84,575 

Number of parsonages 45 19 

Approximate value of same (including society furniture) $158,835 $110,925 

Number of educational buildings 31 8 

Approximate value of same (including furniture and 

utensils) $256,940 $93,490 

Value of publishing outfit $36,850 $18,000 

Total value of all missionary property $844,300 $306,990 

VII. Historic and Personal. 

How many martyrs, if any, has your mission had ? 58 1 

Place and date of such martyrdom ? „ * f 

The last item but one, that of the martyrdom of our preachers 
and people, developed the deepest feeling in our Assembly. The 
time and place where these cruel deeds were done is stated in 
the foot-note of the table, and makes the dreadful showing that 
an average of one murder every three months had been inflicted 
upon our Protestant missions from 1873 up to the period of 
holding that General Assembly. One of these was an American 

* One foreigner and 57 Mexicans : Martyrs — 4 at Capalhuac in Holy Week, 1 873 ; 
2 at Ahualulco, March, 1874; 15 at Acapulco, 1874; 2 at Tlalquiltenango, 1876; 1 
at Guadalajara, 1876 ; 25 at Atzala, 1878 ; 1 at San Jose, 1879 ; 1 at Salatitlan, 1880 ; 
1 at Apizaco, 1881; 1 at Progresso, 1881 ; 2 at Almoloya, 1884; 2 at Ahuacatitlan, 
1887, and 1 at Comalcalco, 1887. f Brother Monroy at Apizaco. 



302 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

missionary ; the rest, fifty-seven in number, were Mexicans, 
either preachers or members. One word of condemnation or 
reproof from Archbishop Labastida would have prevented these 
unprovoked atrocities, but that word was never spoken to his 
dying hour last year, and the cruel fanatics presumed that his 
silence meant consent for their deeds. Most of the cases were 
atrocious to the last degree. The Rev. John L. Stephens 
(whose picture is here given) was sent out by the American 
Board in October, 1872, to Guadalajara. He was a man of 
noble character and devoted to his work. On Sunday night, 
March 2, 1874, after preaching at Ahualulco, he was attacked 
by a party of fanatics, who broke into the place and assassinated 
him and one of his native preachers. 

Another case we speak of from personal knowledge. He 
was one of our native ministers, the Rev. Epigmenio Monroy, 
stationed at Apizaco. This man was characterized as being of 
an unusually sweet spirit, avoiding controversy as far as possible, 
and loving to preach the Gospel in its experimental blessedness. 
He had opened a station at Santa Ana, about three miles from 
Apizaco, and one night (April 8, 1881) on returning late after 
holding the service, he was followed and left for dead on the 
side of the road, terribly mangled. Some time after his groans 
attracted the attention of some travelers, who found him lying 
in his blood in the darkness. They revived him till he could 
tell them where he lived, when they kindly bore him into 
Apizaco. Medical help was called, but it was too late, his life 
was fast ebbing away ; he had only time and strength to bless 
his family and bid them farewell. The Christ-like spirit of the 
man was still in full possession of him. He requested his 
family not to prosecute his murderers in case they should be 
discovered, he had forgiven them, and, feebly lifting his hands 
and looking up to heaven, he threw the last energies of his life 
into the prayer, " Father, forgive them, they know not what 
they do ! " His head rested down on his bosom, and he was 
gone ! Surely it may be asked, "What more has the Christian 
religion done for men anywhere in making them Christ-like 








REV. J. L. STEPHENS, CONGREGATIONAL MISSIONARY, 

Martyred at Ahualulco, March, 1874. 




REV. EPIGMENIO MONROY, NATIVE METHODIST MINISTER, 

Martyred near Apizaco, April 8, 1881. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 303 

than it did for this humble minister, whose mangled remains we 
laid to rest in the sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrec- 
tion ? At the Annual Conference his brethren, by whom lie 
was greatly beloved, out of their scant allowances united to 
place a little monument over the grave of this proto-martyr of 
the Methodist Church in Mexico. "We present a picture here 
of this good and devoted native Methodist preacher. 

We Americans have been also the objects of this malicious- 
ness, but the fanatics are more afraid to strike us in view of 
the closer guardianship which the government is able to extend 
to us, and of the fact that we occupy centers where the police 
care is more effective. For the first year or two we were ex- 
posed to their hostility, and some of them imagined that if we 
were only struck clown the cause would die. But the govern- 
ment knew our danger better than we did, and was constantly 
on the lookout for our safety, giving us useful cautions from 
time to time. From the press and the pulpit, and in episcopal 
edicts put up on church doors, we and our work were held up 
to public hatred. Some of our churches have been desecrated 
and burned. Threats of all kinds have been hurled at us and 
our doom said to be decided upon. On the 9th of Decem- 
ber, 1873, the oldest of our native helpers informed me that he 
had reason to believe (I understood from government intima- 
tion) that a body of these fanatics had been banded together to 
accomplish the assassination of all the Protestant ministers, 
American and native, in the city of Mexico — a " Saint Bar- 
tholomew's Day " on their own account. But the government 
was quietly vigilant, and had intimated to some of the leaders 
that they were aware of their purpose, and threatened punish- 
ment if we were injured. Thus we were left unharmed. 

The tactics pursued by the enemies of evangelical faith in 
Mexico are identical with those followed by Romanists else- 
where. They try first to terrorize, then to deny our religious 
belief, then they malign our morality ; and when they have thus 
depreciated us, and inoculated their ignorant dupes with this 
virus of malice and hatred, the step is a short one for these to 



304 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

think that to kill would be doing God service. Even if the 
blow is not struck their course answers its first purpose, to keep 
the people away from Gospel instructions and from the read- 
ing of the Holy Scriptures. From this source come the cruel 
names which they bestow upon us. We are not only " here- 
tics," but " children of Satan," and are assured by the pope (in 
his encyclical of November 9, 1846) that " It is certain that 
every one who does not preserve the Roman faith entire will 
be utterly and eternally lost," and that bishops must inculcate 
unity with the Catholic Church, " out of which there is no sal- 
vation, and obedience toward the chair of St. Peter, on which 
the whole structure of our most holy religion reposes." No 
wonder they fear the reading of the Bible, where not one word 
can be found to sustain this assumption. They even dare to 
justify their cruelties toward evangelical Christians in the fol- 
lowing language : 

The Church or Christian princes are not blamed for putting heretics to 
death. The Mood of heretics is not the Hood of saints, no more than the 
blood of thieves, man-killers, and other malefactors — for the shedding of 
which blood by the order of justice no commonwealth shall answer.* 

Let it be observed that this murderous language is not the 
utterance of some obscure writer, but is the rule laid down by 
a leading theologian of their Church, and copied into the stand- 
ard work of Peter Dens, that manual of divinity in which vile 
and intolerant system the majority of her priests are trained. 

The deeds of cruelty done in Mexico have not helped them. 
The thoughtful people of the land condemn the idea that, to 
gratify clerical malice, Protestants are to be " counted as sheep 
for the slaughter," and are determined that this shame must 
terminate. We will ever remember the interview with Presi- 
dent Diaz on the occasion of the assassination of some of our 
native brethren at Atzala. After expressing his deep sorrow at 
the atrocities and assuring us that religious freedom would be 
vindicated, that the government was ready at any hour to de- 

* Rhenish Test., annot. upon Rev. xvii, 6. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 305 

fend our people in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, 
President Diaz assured us that not only the government but 
also the Congress and people generally all over the land were 
as indignant as we were over these instances of Romish intol- 
erance ; and he earnestly deprecated the idea that people out- 
side should judge their nation by these instances of the rage 
and cruelty of their Church and its fanatical agents. 

The president then made a remark that at first surprised us 
all. It was to this effect : 

You are greatly depressed and discouraged over what has now occurred, 
and I do not wonder ; but if you knew this country as I know it you 
would feel differently. 

He saw our surprise and then proceeded to explain : 

I have seen this land as none of you ever saw it, in degradation, with 
every thing in the line of toleration and freedom to learn. I have 
watched its rise and progress to a better condition. We are not yet all 
we ought to be and hope to be ; but we are not what we once were. We 
have risen as a people, and are rising now faster than ever. My advice is, 
do not be discouraged. Keep on with your work, avoiding topics of irri- 
tation and preaching your Gospel in its own spirit, and believe me that 
twenty years hence religious murders will have ceased in Mexico and our 
people will be rejoicing in the peace and toleration which our Constitution 
guarantees to all without distinction. 

The words of the worthy president have already become 
true. Long within the twenty years anticipated these murders 
have ceased and people are willing, beyond all former expe- 
rience, to hear us for our cause. Blood-stains — even though 
only " the blood of heretics " — are no longer considered excus- 
able or endurable on the clerical escutcheon. Popular con- 
demnation (and, let us hope, the priestly conscience as well) 
has become opposed to it. The warning of our Quaker poet, 
uttered in 1871, when the pope issued a second call to Pomish 
nations to come to his aid and crush and drive out Italians and 
King Victor from their capital, has sunk deep into the souls of 
men : " Woe be to the Church which mingles human blood 
with her wine of sacrament and breaks the peace of God 



306 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

among men ! " It is again true that " the more they oppressed 
them the more they multiplied and grew:" Some time since I 
was delighted to hear from the secretary of the American 
Board that the very man who held the torch to enable the mur- 
derers of Brother Stephens to do their work has been converted 
and is now devoted to the cause which he once destroyed. 

The table of statistics on page 300 shows that, in spite of this 
great fight of afflictions, our work has wonderfully prospered 
and that we are doubling our numbers, on the average, about 
every eight years. In twenty years there have been raised 
up 111 native ordained ministers, 161 unordained, and a total 
of 512 native workers, with 16,250 communicants and 49,512 
adherents in 469 congregations. Who, after this, need doubt 
whether Roman Catholics can he converted to evangelical Chris- 
tianity ? Thank God for the faithfulness of our Mexican 
converts ! 

During this recent visit to Mexico we went again to see 
the cemeteries of Guadalupe and of San Fernando, symbol- 
izing as they do the past and the future of Mexico and the 
great change she has experienced. What a rush of memories 
came over us as we stood by the monument that covers the 
grave of Santa Anna, just inside the gate of the Guadalupe 
cemetery ! Of all his desperate movements, the last — at Vera 
Cruz, in 1867 — seems to have been the most pregnant with 
evil for his country. What a chapter of political ruin and 
ecclesiastical domination he might have added to the history of 
Mexico if the commander of the Tacony had not interposed ! 
About two years after his return from exile, under the general 
amnesty granted by Juarez, we saw him in Mexico city. Ex- 
Governor Brown, of Georgia, and some of his friends were 
visiting in Mexico. They expressed a desire to have an inter- 
view with the old dictator. The visit was arranged, and we ac- 
companied these friends. Santa Anna had not yet had his prop- 
erty restored, and was living in an obscure street, neglected and 
forgotten by all parties. He seemed gratified that Americans 
should desire to see him. On entering the apartment we found 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 307 

the old man sitting on a sofa, behind which hung the life-size 
picture of his wife, "her serene highness, Dolores Tosta de 
Santa Anna," arrayed as a vice-queen. The magnificence of 
the painting contrasted sadly with the poverty-stricken aspect 
of the room and furniture. To him, however, this could make 
but little difference, as we soon saw that he was totally blind as 
well as feeble and broken in spirit, with a tendency to mental 
weakness. He did nearly all the talking, and frequently re- 
ferred to his interview with General Jackson, and of his being 
sent home on a United States war vessel, which he took care 
to emphasize as a mark of high respect to himself. He was 
still the vain and self-seeking Santa Anna ! 

"We sat before him in a semicircle and surveyed a man who 
had probably more history in him at eighty years of age than 
any other person on this continent; one who had been the 
ready instrument of clerical despotism, firmly resolved to keep 
the Bible and religious freedom out of his native land, but 
who had failed in every point. God had overthrown him and 
his purposes, and here were missionaries sitting before him en- 
tirely unconcerned whether he was vexed or not that the Bible 
and evangelical Christianity were where he had intended that 
they should never come. He had every .opportunity to make 
himself the Washington or Cromwell of his country, but 
proved that he was incapable of being a true reformer. Instead 
of this the amazing record that he built up seems matchless in 
modern history. It was recalled the more vividly by the pict- 
ure behind him. Curtis has well epitomized the facts which 
in this presence were made all the more expressive : 

It created a sensation in Mexico when the pretty peon girl Dolores 
Tosta was suddenly raised from abject poverty to affluence. Santa Anna 
was President of Mexico three years before she was born ; she was married 
to him when she was only thirteen. He was then a military dictator, 
sleeping on his sword, beset with constant perils. In six months he had 
lost his leg and got into a Texas prison. For twenty years her life was 
spent in a camp, surrounded by the whirl of warfare. Her husband was 
five times President of Mexico and four times military dictator in abso- 



308 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

lute power, and in his reckless career had upset some fifteen governments 
of Lis country. He was banished, recalled, and again banished. She 
has seen much " glory " and received unlimited adulation, but she hardly 
ever enjoyed one thoroughly peaceful month in all her life. 

So far Curtis is correct, but he errs in supposing that their 
career ended in exile. Here they were, having been permitted, 
on their petition, by the republican government, to return and 
die in their native land. That government, consolidated and 
strong, had nothing more to fear from this traitor or his allies, 
and the public had left them to sink into the neglect and ob- 
scurity in which we found them. 

A short time after Santa Anna died, at the age of eighty-four. 
The account of the funeral is dreary enough, " only a few 
prominent individuals following the funeral cortege " to the 
cemetery of " the most Holy Virgin of Guadalupe." True to his 
habit, he made a modification of his title to be cut on the white 
marble monument (to which her name and title were added 
ten years after). "W e thought it interesting enough to be copied 
exactly as it appears : 

Excelentisimo 
Sr Oral Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana. 
Junio 21 de 1876. 



Serenisima Sora 

Dolores Tosta de Santa Ana. 

Affosto 11 de 1886. 



R. I. P. 

The translation is : 



Most Excellent 
General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. 



Most Serene Madame 
Dolores Tosta de Santa Anna. 



Truly it might be said that this man was as whimsical in 
death as in life and character, in view of certain solemn obsequies 
that transpired in another locality and of another monument that 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 309 

was erected years before. It might be said that he was buried 
in sections, while, unfortunately for his fame, the pomp and 
ceremonial came at the wrong end of his career. A public 
funeral was decreed for his " Christian leg," while the rest of 
him was interred almost in privacy and without ceremonial. 

If the Yirgin of Guadalupe is all that his clerical guides 
taught Santa Anna to believe, then even he may have a chance, 
for he served her well in his way and placed himself under her 
protection at the last. But if not — if this " holy image of the 
mother of God " is but a myth, and will not be beside that 
judgment throne to own and shelter her devotees — what an 
awaking must be that of the man who lies here, in view of the 
miseries inflicted upon Mexico during the forty years of his 
more active life ! 

It was pleasant to turn from this pathetic example of Mex- 
ico's degraded past to the Panteon de San Fernando, the rest- 
ing-place of many of her illustrious dead. Most prominent and 
rising above them all stands the worthy monument of "the 
"Washington of Mexico," Benito Juarez. He died on the 19th 
of July, 1872, aged sixty-six years, and his ever-grateful country 
erected this rich tribute above his grave. 

It is a tomb the most exacting soul might envy. As a work of art it is 
fine indeed, but as the tribute of an Indian sculptor to the great Indian 
statesman it is magnificently impressive. Out beyond the Alameda in the 
Panteon of San Fernando is the resting-place of many of Mexico's illustri- 
ous dead, and the eternal fitness of things in God's acre is kept when the 
richest tribute that sculpture could bring rises above the grave of Juarez. 
This monument is the work of Manuel Islas, who has succeeded in the 
most difficult of all fields. The unvarying testimony of those who visit 
the cemetery might be quoted in proof of this claim, and certainly no 
monumental effort in the United States tells such a story of heroic grief 
or so immortalizes the dignified emotion of a nation. A small but well- 
proportioned Grecian temple, surrounded by rows of columns, contains 
the commemorative group of spotless marble, the dead president lying at 
full length with his head supported on the knee of a female figure repre- 
senting Mexico. It is the most simple and natural thing in the world, 
after it is done; and yet the United States has scarcely a memorial of dead 



310 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

greatness that does not seem conventional and strained beside it, scarcely 
one in any degree so good in its technical qualities, or so satisfying as a 
work of art. 

Summer and winter this magnificent tomb is fragrant with 
the floral offerings laid upon it by his grateful countrymen. 
Around him, in this Westminster Abbey of Mexico, lie — 
sharing his honor and the glory of his success — such heroes as 
Generals Arteagaand Salazar, and many others, who struggled 
and died to secure to Mexico the glorious future on the thresh- 
old of which she stands to-day. 

Under the gentle influence of that " timely silence " which 
falls on all who approach this tomb of Mexico's greatest states- 
man-patriot and the resting-places of many others of her noble 
heroes, one feels instinctively that there may not be on earth a 
spot where the adaptation of those wonderful words of our own 
martyr-president might be more justly admitted : 

The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it 
far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long 
remember, what we say here ; but it can never forget what they did here. 
It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work 
Avhich they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather 
for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that 
from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for 
which they gave the last full measure of devotion ; that we here highly 
resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain ; that this nation, under 
God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the 
people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth. 

Before we left Mexico there occurred a significant event which 
presented a providential response to the vaporing of Louis Na- 
poleon when he tried to interfere with American affairs under 
the pretense of securing on this continent " a career for the Latin 
race and its civilization,"which he alleged was "to be the glory 
of his reign " and " the most beneficent event of the nineteenth 
century." I refer to the memorial services of the Emperor 
"William of Germany. Next to those in Berlin it may be safe 
to say that those so grandly solemnized in the city of Mexico 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION". 311 

were among the most significant. The lesson was so marked 
that we need not wonder that the papal party in Mexico re- 
sented the honor being conferred upon the memory of the man 
who with such Teutonic and Protestant candor and courage 
could so ably brush aside the hollow pretenses and antiquated 
claims of Pius IX. when he ventured so adroitly to impose 
them upon the emperor's acceptance. Nor is it strange that in 
the capital of Mexico memorial services should be held for the 
grand man who laid low the "eldest son of the Church" and 
all his projects, thus avenging the wrongs which Louis Napoleon 
inflicted on Mexico ! It was gall and wormwood to the cleri- 
cal party that the memory of the great Protestant sovereign of 
the land of Luther and of the glorious Reformation should be 
thus honored in the city of Mexico and in the. presence of its 
government. In this respect it was also the grandest hour for 
the evangelical faith that Mexico up to that date had wit- 
nessed. From an account which we prepared at the time we 
present the facts of this extraordinary event. 

On Friday morning, March 9, 1888, when the telegram arrived 
announcing the death of the Emperor of Germany, the Rev. J. 
W. Butler, in charge of our mission in Mexico city, went at once 
to wait upon the German embassador and the consul to express 
our sympathy and offer the use of our church for any memorial 
services which they might desire to hold. The Germans have 
no church of their own in Mexico, and on several occasions 
have gratefully accepted the use of our edifice. Both minister 
and consul expressed themselves as most thankful for the kind 
spirit shown by our American mission in this offer to place our 
church at their disposal. They arranged at once to call together 
the heads of the German colony (residents in Mexico city) for 
consultation, and to communicate with the pastor without 
delay. Within a few hours the colony had been consulted 
and their measures taken, and the committee appointed came 
to express their gratitude and arrange a programme. Monday 
evening at five o'clock was their preference. By early after- 
noon on Saturday their invitations, printed on heavily bordered 
24 



312 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

mourning-paper, in Spanish, were ready. They bore the coat 
of arms of the German empire, and read as follows : " The 
German minister, in his name, and in that of the German col- 
ony, has the honor to invite you to the religious ceremony 
which, occasioned, by the death of his majesty the Emperor of 
Germany, will take place Monday, March 12, at five o'clock in 
the afternoon, in the temple on Gante Street." The word 
temple is used for all places of worship in Mexico. 

This invitation was sent to General Diaz, the president of 
the republic, to the members of his cabinet, to the foreign em- 
bassadors and consuls and. the members of their respective 
staffs, and also to the governor of the federal district and the 
various officials, civil and military, in the capital, as well as the 
gentlemen and ladies of the German, English, and American 
colonies, and others. The editors of the leading papers were 
also invited. 

Meanwhile the leading decorator of the city had been called 
and instruction given him by the Germans to decorate our 
church suitably, regardless of expense, for the high and solemn 
occasion. With a little army of assistants he commenced his 
labors at daylight on Saturday and worked till midnight, re- 
suming again early Monday morning, and had all ready one hour 
before the time for commencement of the services on Monday 
afternoon. The handsome audience-room was a suitable back- 
ground for the rich adorning with which they draped its pil- 
lars, cornices, arches, and balconies. This is truly the land of 
flowers, and the fullest use was made of their magnificence to 
add to every other charm of the place. The gorgeous tropical 
plants were intertwined with the floral decorations, making a 
sight in themselves alone worth a journey to see and enjoy. 
Then the festoons of flowers were carried around, above, upon 
the arches and cornices, and the wreaths were hung under the 
center of the arches and upon each pillar. The flowers used 
were those which were appropriate, white roses and violets 
preponderating largely. 

The flags and shields with the German arms were then placed 




i ^ 



S os 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 313 

in position, and the long bannerets, with spheres of silver crys- 
tal, were suspended from the roof above. Black crape was 
gracefully draped every-where, and all the ornamentation was ap- 
propriate to the occasion. Black cloth hung from the balconies 
all around the church. But it was upon the pulpit and commun- 
ion rails that their chief skill was employed. Upon the pulpit 
platform near the wall rose a white pedestal draped, on the top 
of which rested a bust (life-size) of the dead emperor, supported 
by a cushion of flowers. Behind the pedestal and bust hung 
down, some eight feet in length, a rich drapery of black velvet, 
studded with silver stars. The pulpit was draped with black 
velvet and silver trimmings, as were the communion rails, and 
illuminated by small chandeliers, bearing wax tapers. The 
kneeling-step was overlaid with the leaves of the rubber-tree, 
their shining green contrasting beautifully with, the black and 
silver above them. On the communion table a superb im- 
perial crown of roses rested on a rich cushion of white rose- 
buds. In front of the rails hung a large wreath formed of blue 
corn-flower (the emperor's favorite flower), with his monogram 
" W" tilling the center. This was a gift of affection sent by a 
Swiss lady and gentleman, and was regarded as the gem of all 
the floral decorations. The perfume of the lovely flowers rose 
on the air of the church as nature's own incense, making the at- 
mosphere redolent with their fragrance.* 

Anxious to illuminate the church to the highest degree pos- 
sible, the committee had some electric lights put up on Mon- 
day, to be additional to the illumination given by our own 
reflector, and when all was laid on the flood of splendor which 
filled the sacred edifice was beyond any light that ever shone 
there since it was erected. The rich stone carvings and har- 
mony of the several parts, added to the effect of the decorations, 

* To enable the reader more fully to realize the beauty of this scene we introduce 
here a photographic view of the interior of our church. The decorations shown 
have nothing to do with our present description. They are the usual embellish- 
ments put in by our people to celebrate the birthday of their great president, 
whose portrait hangs behind the pulpit. 



314 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

were brought out so distinctly by the brilliancy as to attract the 
general admiration of the audience. It was, altogether, a sight 
never to be forgotten by those who gazed upon it. 

]STo superstitious symbols were introduced to mar the simple 
and natural beauty of the scene ; nothing out of harmony with 
the sincerity and reverence which was intended to be expressed. 
Seats in front near the pulpit were reserved for the government 
officials and the diplomatic corps and their ladies. The ladies 
of the German colony, in full mourning costume, were seated 
on the right hand of the pulpit and down that side of the 
house, while the Mexican orchestra of forty -five pieces, and the 
Orpheon, or German Choral Society, occupied the other side 
of the pulpit on a platform provided for them. The general 
audience filled the center behind the legations, and overflowed 
back into the chapel, the windows of which were lowered so as 
to make one audience of the whole assembly. The JPartido 
Liberal, in its report, estimates the number present at over one 
thousand persons. Many senators and deputies of the Congress, 
heads of departments, and members of various societies and 
clubs and business organizations were in the audience. 

At ten minutes past five o'clock nearly all had arrived. The 
reserved seats in front were occupied by the embassadors of 
England, France, the United States, Spain, Belgium, Italy, and 
other countries, with their secretaries and consuls, most of them 
in splendid uniforms, while a few of the leading diplomates wore 
on their breasts the orders of merit or honor which had been 
conferred upon them. A few chairs in the front row still 
awaited their occupants. Soon a slight buzz was heard, and 
Baron Von Wacker Gotter, the German minister, appeared at 
the entrance, escorting his excellency the President of Mexico, 
who was accompanied by the members of his cabinet, with sev- 
eral generals of division in full uniform. The entire audience 
rose to receive them with due honor. 

As soon as these were seated the services commenced by the 
orchestra rendering the solemn strains of Chopin's "Funeral 
March." After this came the Kreutzer andante, " La Cha- 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 315 

pelle," sung with deep feeling and expression by the German 
Orpheon. The Rev. John W. Butler, pastor of the church, 
then rose and read the Scripture lesson, from the fifteenth chap- 
ter of First Corinthians. And well, and with proper emphasis, 
did he render St. Paul's glorious doctrine of the resurrection 
of the dead. The seraphic faces, sculptured in the stone over 
each of the twelve pillars above, seemed as though looking 
down upon the reader and the audience as his voice resounded 
among these old monastic arches, which suggested the dissimilar 
scenes which they had echoed in the days of yore, till the center 
of that assembly seemed to be that magnificent open Bible, now 
and henceforth unbound and free in Mexico. I wonder not 
that the reporter of El JVacional, a clerical journal, in his ac- 
count of the service, innocently remarks, referring to that sacred 
volume, " which we suppose was the Bible of Luther." 

As I sat there and looked out upon the wonderful and 
brilliant scene I seemed lost in astonishment at the contrast 
which it presented to the time, fifteen years before, when I first 
entered this building. It had been purchased from the govern- 
ment some time previously and fitted up as a theater. The 
company had failed, and we bought it from them in 1873. Its 
condition then was simply indescribable — dark, dirty, and reek- 
ing with the fumes of tobacco. This added to the darkness, for 
the daylight was purposely excluded so as to depend entirely on 
the gas-lights for their effects. 

Such, too, was the bigotry of that time that I had difficulty to 
find men who were then willing to work for Protestants ; so I 
stood amid that gloom and defilement wondering how I could 
evolve light and cleanliness and beauty out of such a state of 
things. But I knew the beauty was there, though hidden, and 
that it could be brought out. 

Now, here I was, fifteen years after, looking, as the redeemed 
often do, at " the hole of the pit whence they have been digged," 
conscious that but few eyes besides my own in all that bright 
assembly before me had looked upon the disorder, ruin, and chaos 
out of which this present vision of light and loveliness had risen. 



316 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

I also remembered how few and timid were those who at first 
ventured, when I did develop a place of Christian worship out 
of the circus, to join with us in evangelical services under 
this roof ; and now here we were with the grandest assembly 
this land can produce, with its honored president and his min- 
isters in this magnificent memorial service ! 

Just here my son finished his reading and turned and looked 
at me, intimating that the time had come to take my part. 
" What hath God wrought ! " was on my lips as I came to 
the front, and, lifting up my hands in prayer, the entire audi- 
ence rose to join me in the act. God helped me as I pleaded 
for the stricken nation with whom we sympathized in the death 
of its venerable monarch, and for the bereaved family and the 
aged widow, and especially for that suffering crown-prince on 
whom the imperial burden must now fall so heavily. I im- 
plored God to bless Germany, and to impart to the powers of 
Europe at this critical time that grace and sagacity which would 
lead them to indorse heartily the dying word of the grand old 
emperor as he pleaded for " peace " — the peace of God among 
the nations. I closed by invoking the benediction of the Al- 
mighty upon the land whose hospitality we were enjoying, and 
its honored president, so that beneath its flag of freedom, civil and 
religious liberty, with peace and order, should be maintained as 
long as the sun and moon endured. I had a consciousness that 
my prayer was heard and that the hearts of the great assembly 
were with me in the petitions presented. Some of them, espe- 
cially the Germans, were in tears, and thanked me heartily at 
the termination of the service. 

Another funeral dirge and another hymn, and then my son 
again took the pulpit and used the closing portion of the burial 
service of our ritual, in the Spanish, ending with the Lord's 
Prayer. A short pause, and then the whole audience rose to re- 
ceive the benediction, which he gave in the German language. 
This ended the beautiful service. The audience remained stand- 
ing while the president and his cabinet and the foreign ministers 
and other officials passed slowly out. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 317 

As I saw them reverently retiring I could realize the quiet 
and yet great advance that our cause had gained in this city 
during the past few years. Eleven years ago hardly one of 
these upper-class Mexican people had the courage to enter this 
or any Protestant church, so decided were their prejudice and 
timidity. In 1877 I conducted in this same church the funeral 
service of Herr Benecke, the Consul-general of Germany ; but 
on that occasion we could not induce the limited number of 
these people who attended to go forward and take the front 
seats. They lingered round the entrance, and were timid about 
making any farther advance into the room. On this occasion 
there was no hesitation. The whole front was occupied and the 
church crowded. Slowly but surely the Lord's work is advanc- 
ing in this land, and we can look for more candor and less 
prejudice as the light spreads and they come to understand us 
and our object in being here among them. 

The General Assembly of all the Protestant missions pre- 
viously held in this church no doubt did much to impress them 
favorably ; and now came this grand service, at which the highest 
people of the land were not afraid or ashamed to be present. 
All this is a decided advance for the evangelical cause. 

In the minds of many of these people on this occasion there 
was a fact that greatly interested them, which would not at all 
have been regarded as remarkable by any Protestant audience. 
That fact was that the two ministers who conducted the service 
and were together in that pulpit stood in the relation of father 
and son to each other. Such a fact was never seen in Roman 
Catholicism. No priest or bishop of that Church ever had his 
son to minister by his side. Here, too, is something to lead 
them to reflection as to one of the reasons why the clergy of 
their Church are what they are, denied as they are by mere 
human authority those relations of holy matrimony which the 
Pounder of Christianity has expressly declared to be the right 
and privilege of his ministers. 

The archbishop had threatened that attendance at this service 
would be followed by the usual penalties; but his effort to pre- 



318 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

vent people from going was a failure. He would have had a 
large business on hand had he attempted to carry out his threat. 
These were people, beginning with the president, not to be 
trifled with, and he knew it, and concluded that discretion 
was the better part of valor. Among the many evidences 
which we found in the reports in the papers next morning 
of the excellent impressions made by the service, nothing was 
more unique or paid a higher homage to the holy word of God 
than the innocent declaration of the editor of one of the lead- 
ing periodicals, who evidently was a stranger to the language of 
Holy Scripture, and supposed, as he listened with such profound 
attention to my son's reading, that he was uttering something 
which he had himself composed for the occasion. He therefore 
reported upon it that "such an eloquent and pious address we 
have never before heard." ISTo doubt of it, for the minister 
was reading St. Paul's inspired description of the resurrection 
of the last day in 1 Corinthians, chapter xv ! 

As we close, our thoughts revert to a remarkable utterance 
of Madame Calderon's, and nothing much more appropriate 
could end this book. Here was a gifted lady, sincere in her 
Homanism, sadly contemplating a condition of things that was 
a reproach to her Church. She who for nearly three years 
stood in that wealthy but dark past which we have portrayed, 
when there was no ray of light and no prospect of betterment 
apparent, felt, with increasing conviction, that some change 
was inevitable, from the necessity of the case, or her Church 
in Mexico must remain a standing reproach throughout the 
civilized world. She could discover no source from whence 
hope of change could arise save one, and that not from the 
quarter she as a Romanist would have preferred ; yet, if it 
must be so, she bows to the inevitable and predicts its approach. 
Here is " the prophecy of Madame Calderon : " 

The cross was planted here in a congenial soil, and as in the pagan 
East the statues of the divinities frequently did no more than change 
their names from those of heathen gods to those of Christian saints, and 
image-worship apparently continued, though the mind of the Christian 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 319 

was directed from the being represented to the true and only Ood who 
inhabits eternity ; so here the poor Indian bows before visible representa- 
tions of saints and virgins, as he did in former days before the monstrous 
shapes representing the unseen powers of the air, the earth, and the 
water ; but he, it is to be feared, lifted his thoughts no higher than the 
rude image which a human hand has carved. . . . He kneels before the 
bleeding image of the Saviour who died for him, before the gracious form 
of the Virgin who intercedes for him; but he believes there are many 
virgins of various gifts, and possessing various degrees of miraculous 
power and different degrees of wealth, according to the quality and 
number of the diamonds and pearls with which they are endowed — one 
even who is the rival of the other — one who will bring rain when there is 
drought, and one to whom it is well to pray in seasons of inundation. . . . 

If any one wishes to try the effect of strong contrast let him come 
directly from the United States to this country ; but it is in the villages 
especially that the contrast is most striking. Traveling in New r England, 
for example, we arrive at a small and flourishing village. We see four 
new churches, proclaiming four different sects; religion suited to all cus- 
tomers. These wooden churches or meeting-houses are all new, all painted 
white, or perhaps a bright red. Hard by is a tavern with a green paling, 
as clean and new as the churches, and there are also various smart stores 
and neat dwelling-houses; all new, all wooden, all clean, and all orna- 
mented with slight Grecian pillars. The whole has a cheerful, trim, and 
flourishing aspect. Houses, churches, stores, taverns, all are of a piece. 
. . . Every thing proclaims prosperity, equality, consistency; the past 
forgotten, the present all in all, and the future taking care of itself. No 
delicate attentions to posterity who can never pay its debts. No beggars. 
If a man has even a hole in his coat he must be lately from the Emerald 
Isle. 

Transport yourself in imagination from this New England village to 

that of , it matters not which — not far from Mexico city. " Look on 

this picture and on that ! " The Indian huts, with their half -naked in- 
mates and little gardens filled with flowers ; the huts either built of clay 
or the half-ruined beaux Testes of some stone building. At a little distance 
a hacienda, like a deserted palace, built of solid masonry. There, rising 
in the midst of old faithful-looking trees, the church, gray and ancient, 
but strong as if designed for eternity, with its saints and virgins, and 
martyrs and relics, its gold and silver and precious stones, whose value 
would buy up all the spare lots in the New England village ; the lepei'o, 
with scarce a rag to cover him, kneeling on the marble pavement. Leav- 
ing the inclosure of the church, observe the stone wall that bounds the 
road for more than a mile, the fruit-trees overtopping it, high though it 



320 MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 

be, with their loaded branches. This is the convent orchard. And that 
great Gothic pile that stands in hoary majesty — what could so noble a 
building be but the monastery, perhaps of the Carmelites, because of its 
exceedingly rich garden and well-chosen site ? For they, of all monks, are 
richest in this world's goods. Also we may see the reverend old prior 
riding slowly from under the arched gate up the village lanes, the Indians 
coming from their huts to do him lowly reverence as lie passes. Here, 
every thing reminds us of the past, of the conquering Spaniards who seemed 
to build for eternity, of the triumphs of Catholicism, and of the Indians 
when Cortez first startled them from their repose and stood before them 
like the fulfillment of half-forgotten prophecy. It is the present that 
seems like a dream, a pale reflection of the past. All is decaying and 
growing fainter, and men seem trusting to some unknown future that they 
may never see. One government has been abandoned, and there is none 
in its place. One revolution follows another, yet the remedy is not found. 
Let them beware lest half a century later they be awakened from their 
delusion, and find the cathedral turned into a meeting-house, and all 
painted white, the railing melted down, the Virgin's jewels sold to the 
highest bidder, the floor washed (which would do it no harm), and 
around the whole a nice new wooden paling, freshly done in green — 
and all this performed by some of the artists from the wide-awake repub- 
lic farther north.* 

" The artists " are already there and hard at work, but not 
in any line of interference with the political institutions. Ma- 
dame Calderon would be amazed could she return and see how 
literally her anticipations have been realized, and the peace, 
order, and prosperity that are firmly established throughout the 
land. More than all would she be surprised to behold, not 
merely foreign artists at work, but a noble band of native 
Mexican ministers and teachers engaged in spreading evangel- 
ical Christianity, and with grand results. 

Mexico is destined to a high mission on this continent. Her 
evangelization will aid gloriously in the redemption of Central 
and South America. Erelong the States beyond, who imitate 
her example, will receive her missionaries, who, using the same 
melodious language, will speak to those millions and thus con- 
summate the evangelization of Spanish America. 

* Life in Mexico, p. 289. 



MEXICO IN TRANSITION. 321 

0, Church of the living God ! here is the " open door," 
"great and effectual," which the divine Master has set before 
thee ! It is thine to enter. God expects it as the work which 
" thy hand findeth to do." He sends thee to open their eyes, 
to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of 
Satan unto God, that they may receive " remission of their 
sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith 
in Jesus Christ." Living or dying, I appeal to thee for them. 
Give them, O, give them quickly, thine evangelical faith and 
thy saving Gospel. Give in adequate measure for the con- 
summation of the blessed change for these millions of dying 
men, that Mexico may become that " delightsome land " which 
the Lord of Hosts has promised, where her " sun shall no more 
go down, neither shall her moon withdraw itself, for the Lord 
shall be her everlasting light, and the days of her mourning 
shall be ended." 

Then will redeemed Mexico, her sorrows closed, rise to the 
greatness of her position on this continent, and, turning to the 
Redeemer who has saved her, and to him alone, will claim her 
right to crown him with the diadem of Mexico's adoring love, 
as " Lord of all, to the glory of God the Father." Henceforth 
it will be her joy to adopt as her own the rapturous strain of 
Cowper : 

"Come then, and added to Thy many crowns 
Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth, 
Thou who alone art worthy! It was thine 
By sacred covenant, ere nature's birth; 
And thou hast made it thine by purchase since, 
And overpaid its value with thy blood." 



INDEX 



Alexander VI., division of the world by, 5. 
Archbishop Labastida and Marshal Niegre, 

166. 
Archbishop Lorenzana's extravagant praise 

of Cortez, 14. 
Arteaga's letter to his mother when about to 

die, 209. 
Austria's concordat with the papacy, 158. 

Beecher's triumph at Manchester, 190. 
Bibles sold in the castle of San Angelo, 265. 
" Black Decree," the, 206. 
Blackstone on rapacity of clericals, 137. 
Bravo's vengeance for the murder of his fa- 
ther, 74. 
"Butcher of Bologna," the, 114. 

Cabman at St. Peter's refuses papal coin, 

264. 
Calderon, Madame, introduction of, 26. 

on the desagravios of Mexico, 29. 

"prophecy" concerning the future of 

Mexico, 318. 
Carlota's confidential letter to a friend, 185. 

■ sudden departure from Mexico, 212. 

stricken with insanity at Rome, 214. 

Christianizing the Aztecs, Spanish methods 

of, 10. 
"Circulo Populare;" arraignment of the 

pope, 111. 
Clavijero declines to indorse some of the 

statements of Cortez, 13. 
Clergy, condition of Mexican, 33. 
Colonization of Confederates in Mexico, 216. 
Comments of English press on the French 

Intervention, 189. 
Comparison of Lincoln and Juarez, 163. 
Confederacy supporting the Intervention, 187. 
Convention of Soledad, 147. 
Cortez, dispatches of, to his emperor, 10. 
character of, shown by his own act and 

language, 12. 
Council of Trent and its assumptions, 6. 



Cruelties inflicted by the Spaniards on the 

conquered, 14. 
Cuatemoctzin, tribute to the fame of, 15. 
Curtis's Capitals of Spanish America, 101. 

De Morny's aid to the conspiracy against 
Mexico, 142. 

Diaz, General, capture of Mexico city by, 245. 

, president, successful administration of, 

286. 

, interview with, 305. 

Domenech's influential position between two 
thrones, 172. 

on the character of Mexican Catholi- 
cism, 28. 

, his reasons for the Intervention of Na- 
poleon, 173. 

Ecuador as a model papal state, 104. 
Emperor William I., frank correspondence 
with Pius IX., 268. 

, memorial services in city of Mexico, 310. 

Eugenie's share of the penalty, 272. 

Financial status of Maximilian's empire, 170. 

French at Puebla, defeat of the, 152. 

enormous financial claims against Mex- 
ico, 146. 

Fueros established by the Church in Mexico, 
177. 

General Assembly of Protestant Missions in 
1888, 298. 

Gladstone's explanation of the position main- 
tained by England, 188. 

Grant,* General, on the Intervention in Mex- 
ico, 177. 

, view of the attempt to monarchize 

Mexico, 220. 

Greeley, Horace, his deep disappointment 
with papal policy, 108. 

, remarkable foresight of Eugenie's fall 

from power, 274. 



INDEX. 



323 



Guadalupe, legend of the Virgin of, 46. 
, amazing idolatry exhibited at, 49. 

Hidalgo proclaims independence of Mex- 
ico, 68. 

and his helpers, with their defeat, 70. 

anniversary of the " Grito " celebrated, 

71. 

Honduras and the papal bull, 106. 

Hugo's, Victor, eulogium on Juarez, 251. 

Humboldt on the destruction of Aztec rec- 
ords, 35. 

Infallibility decreed by Pius IX., 259. 

Inquisition of Puebla, purchase of part of 
the, 295. 

Intolerance toward the dead in Spain, 161. 

Italian soldiers in Wesleyan service in Rome, 
266. 

Iturbide, the liberator, 76. 

, the election and coronation of, as em- 
peror, 79. 

, exile and death of, 80. 

Jecker bonds, their nefarious character, 140. 

, expulsion from Mexico by Juarez, 278. 

" Jesuits, farewell ! " in 1873, 280. 

Juarez, outline of life of, 127. 

response to the invitation of Maximil- 
ian, 201. 

recognition of the help of God in the 

struggle, 251. 

— — on the value of Protestantism to his 
country, 253. 

generous terms granted to the con- 
quered, 247. 

— tomb of, its beauty and significance, 309. 

" Kicked out of Rome," the papal threat, 192. 

Las Casas protecting the Indians, 17. 

Latin and Teutonic races, illiteracy com- 
pared, 175. 

" Laws of Reform," meaning of, 137. 

Legation at Rome closed by Act of our Con- 
gress, 193. 

Lerdo's exhibit of church property, 18. 

Liberty in Rome after the flight of the pope, 
110. 

Lincoln's reply to the workingmen of Lan- 
cashire, 191. 

Lopez, Colonel, supposed treachery explained, 
241. 



Map of the United States in the library ot 
the Propaganda, 87. 

Martyrs of Protestantism in Mexico since 
1873, 302. 

Maximilian's relation to the Austrian em- 
pire, 154. 

visit to Rome to receive the papal bene- 
diction, 167. 

arrival at Vera Cruz, to establish an 

empire, 169. 

crushing burden assumed by him, 170. 

mission to Mexico impracticable, 177. 

expostulated with by Pius IX. for his 

slowness, 179. 

failure of nuncio to subjugate his action, 

181. 

and his cabinet break with the papacy, 

183. 

attempt to leave Mexico privately, 217. 

— — induced by the clericals to renew the 
effort for empire, 218. 

issuance of the " Black Decree," 205. 

unworthy efforts to make terms for es- 
cape with Escobedo, 222. 

capture at Queretaro with all his force. 

224. 

court-martial and defense, 225. 

condemnation, with reasons therefor, 

232. 

attempts to escape by the aid of friends, 

234. 

execution of, 19th of June, 1867, 238. 

body returned to Austria, at request of 

royal family, 254. 

McNamara's project to forestall the United 
States in California, 88. 

Mexico, cruelties of Spanish rule in, since 
the Conquest, 64. 

degradation of the clergy of, 32. 

natural wealth of, 8. 

acquired wealth of the Church of Rome 

in, 18. 

— - unique Mariolatry in her religion, 42. 

war with the United States, 86. 

advanced position of the United States 

in her favor in 1866, 202. 

statistics of Protestant missions in, 

299. 

Milton's prayer for the Waldenses an- 
swered, 116. 

Miramon's robbery of the British legation, 
124. 

"Monroe doctrine" and its application in 
this case, 82. 



324 



INDEX. 



Napoleon, Louis, sketch of his history, 130. 

plans against freedom of, 133. 

unfriendly intentions toward the United 

States, 168. 

declares war against Prussia, 260. 

utter downfall at Sedan, 270. 

Netherland League's address to Juarez, 

164. 
New Granada, protest of pope against its 

laws of freedom, 105. 

Orizava and the morning star, 281. 

Palmerston, Lord, view of Romanism, 102. 

Pius IX., policy of freedom at his acces- 
sion, 108. 

flight from Rome, 109. 

protest of the "Circulo Populare" 

against bis action, 111. 

— letter to Maximilian urging stern meas- 
ures, 179. 

— — wily effort to Interfere in our civil war, 
193. 

— recognition of the Confederacy by, 195. 
encyclical and syllabus to dominate 

Christendom, 196. 

loss of his temporal power, 261. 

Purgatory, reflections on, 38. 

Rankin, Miss Melinda, and her work, 287. 

Rome's designs against the United States, 
99. 

Romeros, Matias, great service to his coun- 
try, 129. 



Salazar's letter to his mother when about to 
die, 209. 

San Franciscan monastery, purchase of part 
of the, 289. 

Santa Anna's first political move, 82. 

negotiates through Estrada for a mon- 
archy, 118. 

tried for treason and banished, 119. 

attempt to reopen the war in 1867, 249. 

interview with shortly before his death, 

306. 

visit to the grave of, 308. 

South America, freedom in, resisted by pon- 
tiff, 96. 

sympathizing with Mexico, 163. 

Texas, separation from Mexico of, 83. 
Treachery at Cherubusco, 93. 
Tripartite treaty of England, Spain, and 
France, 143. 

Vattel on secularization of ecclesiastical 

property, 137. 
Vengeance on conspirators against Mexico, 

256. 
Victor Emmanuel enters Rome as her chosen 

king, 261. 
Virgin of Guadalupe, legend of, 48. 
of Remedios, 42. 

Webster, Daniel, on our neglected duty to 
Mexico, 4. 

Zuloaga's usurpation in the interests of the 
clericals, 122. 



THE END.